Chiwetel Ejiofor’s production of “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” has begun in Malawi

Based on a true-life story

Films have proven to have positive impacts on the discussion of social issues. Representations of real-life events in film serves as a sort of conversation started towards supporting the voices of those who have experienced similar realities. Films like “Precious”, and “Slumdog Millionaire” are just some examples of such expository flicks about the human condition. And by adapting William Kamkwamba’s fictional biography, “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind, Chinwetel Ejiofor also hopes to help shed some light on two critical global issues; Climate change and child education.

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” follows the life of 13-year-old William Kamkwamba, who is withdrawn from school due to his parent’s inability to pay his fees. He sneaks back into the school’s library where his curiosity leads him to a book with sparse plans for an electricity-generating windmill. From the rough plans he found and spare parts from his father’s old bicycle, William builds a windmill for his family which ultimately saves his entire village from famine.

Though William Kamkwamba’s story was adapted as a short film in 2008, a year before the book’s release, Chinwetel’s version comes at a critical time in the global economy with the world shifting towards renewable energy due to the visible effects of climate change. Stories of rural communities developing and how renewable energy can be used to negate the negative effects of climate change are more common than they were a decade ago. Perhaps his film will add to the collection of data used in promoting the effects of climate change on rural communities.

Chinwetel’s The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” was first announced in 2013 but not much else was heard till recently when got a first look at the images from the film. Chinwetel will direct and co-star as Trywell Kamkwamba, William’s father in the movie. The film is set in Malawi and stars Malawian actor, Maxwell Simba as the lead role of William Kamkwamba. And to ensure the story stays accurate, the book’s authors William Kamkwamba and Bryan Miller contributed as script consultants.

There’s still no release date yet, but if you haven’t read the book you can buy it from Amazon in anticipation of the film.

“Tomiwa is figuring it out…” Tweet at her @fauxxbella

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