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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

United Kingdom

2019

1h 53m

Director Chiwetel Ejiofor

Starring Maxwell Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Aïssa Maïga, Lily Banda

Genre Drama, History

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“The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” tells the amazing true story of William Kamkwamba; the ambitious young Malawian genius who, to save his family and village from drought and famine, decides to build a wind turbine after reading about it in a science textbook.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

80

The Guardian by Benjamin Lee

It’s a conventional film in many ways but one that slowly and effectively builds to a remarkably rousing climax, displaying an act of overwhelming ingenuity that’s hard to deny.
67

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

Ejiofor’s compassionate script, adapted from William’s 2009 memoir, is finely attuned to the cold realities that confront its warm characters. It only struggles to chart a clear arc for its protagonist, who remains a bright and quietly determined kid from start to finish, while his (often sidelined) father is the one who best embodies the film’s conflict.
60

Variety by Dennis Harvey

Competently mounted yet plodding, it’s manifestly a labor of love that becomes a bit of a labor to watch.
75

The Playlist by Jason Bailey

The director resists the urge to make the family too heroic – in fact, his own character takes an unsympathetic turn near the end, which must’ve been a tough call. But it matters, because it renders his deeply-felt joy and pride at the picture’s conclusion all the more potent.
70

The Hollywood Reporter by John DeFore

Made with the intelligence and good taste one expects from Ejiofor, the involving film cares about much more than the sweeping images of triumph with which it inevitably closes.
80

The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

Chiwetel Ejiofor has made his debut as writer-director, and the result is exhilarating and rather inspiring – a story of success against the odds, of ingenuity and resourcefulness, of a father and son painfully coming to terms with each other.
70

Screen Daily by Tim Grierson

This earnest tale succeeds thanks to its potent themes — including the tension between old traditions and new ways of thinking — and Ejiofor locates the story’s emotional underpinnings without succumbing to cheap manipulation or mawkishness.
60

The Telegraph by Tim Robey

Sagging at times, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind feels as though it might have played better as a mid-length short film, with subplots pruned back.
75

RogerEbert.com by Tomris Laffly

Ejiofor’s movie eloquently harnesses all these customary elements and yields them into an irresistible family film that plays like a brand-new “October Sky” with an urgent human-interest dimension at its heart.

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