Based on a true story
Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maxwell Simba, Felix Lemburo
Director: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Synopsis: Based on the true story of 13-year-old Wiliam Kamkwamba (Maxwell Simba) who was from a small village in Malawi which In 2001 was thrust into famine when global, political and environmental events all begin to collide. After reading a science book in his school library, William figured out how to build and use a windmill to create power and help save the crops and his village.
Opinion: This is the directorial debut of Chiwetel Ejiofor and what a wonderful film to start with. It has a really strong and emotion filled story that may have been set in 2001 but sadly still has so much relevance to many aspects of the world today (18 years later) with political turmoil and climate change being huge factors in the story as a whole. But it isn’t just those things that this film and story want you to focus on, it’s family and working together and understanding hardships and poverty and seeing how difficult and scary some people have it in the world compared to us who are streaming this via their internet on their Netflix account. It’s a window to another world that many don’t see or want to see and while this one does have a somewhat happy ending there are many out there that don’t.
But yes, this is a movie review not a preach about poverty and climate change and struggle (although I do highly encourage donating to companies that provide assistance to people or places in need).
So, if you haven’t already gathered, I enjoyed this movie. Yes, it hit me in that annoying feelings spot but it wasn’t all just sadness and sympathy, there were so many uplifting and happy moments and both the soundtrack and the imagery really helped to emphasise these. It had you transported to a different part of the world, to see the dogs running around and the dust blowing in the breeze and the first rains fall at the start of the rainy season. Then there was the actors and their presences on screen which really blew me away at times. Chiwetel Ejiofor was brilliant as always as the father struggling to provide for and keep his family safe, damn does that man know how to play torment. But the real star of this picture was obviously Maxwell Simba and for his first ever film he did a wonderful job, really bringing a life to the screen and filling us with hope for the village in the movie as well as the world around us now.
Beautifully written, filmed and executed I strongly encourage checking it out.
Things to Note: Both English and Malawi are spoken in the movie which means there are a lot of subtitle used throughout….just in case that sort of thing bothers you, not that it should. There are also a couple of “gosh where are the tissues, am I about to cry?” moments so yeah just be ready for that lump in your throat feeling. Oh, and as usual with films like this, there are photos and facts about the real life people form this story at the end and they are really quite cool and interesting to see.