‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’s Chiwetel Ejiofor Previews the Inspirational True Story

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Ilze Kitshoff / Netflix

For most kids, a science experiment is a necessary evil, something to be done in school. For African boy William Kamkwamba, tinkering with technology was a matter of survival.

This feel-good film tells the true story of the plucky Malawi native (newcomer Maxwell Simba) who, as a 13-year-old in 2001, taught himself how to build a windmill that helped irrigate his poor farming community, saving the village from an impending famine.

“William is an amazing, courageous and fascinating character,” says writer, director and costar Chiwetel Ejiofor, who adapted Kamkwamba’s story from his 2009 bestselling memoir of the same name. Producer Andrea Calderwood adds that every viewer will relate to William’s persistence.

“He’s got huge potential, but he’s got all these barriers in his way,” she says, “and yet he finds a way to overcome them.”

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Movie Premiere, Friday, March 1, Netflix