WILLIAM & THE WINDMILL
"A subtle but beautiful portrait."
"...asks important questions about international aid and development."
"Not the documentary one might expect... a more nuanced alternative to the inevitable Hollywood version to come."
Director: Ben Nabors
Runtime: 95 mins
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GENRES: Documentary, African Studies, Poverty, Science & Technology
With only a library book as his guide, 14-year-old William Kamkwamba builds a windmill in his Malawian village that changes his life forever. Using junk parts and an inexhaustible imagination, he harnesses enough energy to power a generator that saves his family from famine and resuscitates his dying farming community.
An instant media sensation, the teen soon has the ability to chart a previously unimaginable future of Ivy League schools and speaking tours. But despite the support of an American entrepreneur who helps him navigate his success, some changes threaten to capsize him. He was once just a kid back home, but suddenly he's a village leader. Away at school, the famous boy inventor struggles on a steep learning curve.
Cameras capture the dramatic upheavals, external pressures, and subtle shifts of perspective in this inspiring story of a young man facing the changes that a humble homemade windmill set in motion.
Winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary, Indiewire.com describes it as a "fascinating look at the tricky balancing act of third world activism."