Sundance: 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind' is a solid family-friendly feature debut

    Chiwetel Ejiofor and Maxwell Simba appear in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by Chiwetel Ejiofor, an official selection of the Premieres program at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (Photo: Sundance Institute | photo by Ilze Kitshoff)

    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
    Chiwetel Ejiofor
    Writers: Chiwetel Ejiofor, William Kamkwamba (book), Bryan Mealer (book)
    Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Maxwell Simba, Lily Banda, Noma Dumezweni
    Program: Premieres

    (KUTV) Base on the true story of WIlliam Kamkwamba, a young boy living in the rural village of Malawi, who uses his school’s library to come up with an idea that could save his starving family.

    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” the feature-length directorial debut for actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, is an agreeable film. Well acted, well shot and generally pleasing. What it lacks is a real sense of tension. The problem essentially comes down to marketing and tone. The marketing aspect is the film’s title, which essentially gives away the central question that the film proposes: Will our young protagonist compete the task that is put before him?

    The tone, which is softened to allow for younger audiences to see the movie, is something of a glass ceiling. For as dark and as desperate the situation is, we’re sheltered from the graphic reality of it. Fortunately, the softening of the horrors of the narrative doesn’t strip the story of its inspirational aspects.

    The film does feature subtitles for some of the dialogue, the characters also often speak in English. Don’t let that scare you off, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” is a charming and family-friendly experience.

    Additional Screenings:

    Monday, January 28, Redstone Cinema 2, 4:00 PM
    Thursday, January 31, Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room, 9:00 AM
    Saturday, February 2, Eccles Theatre, 9:00 AM
    Sunday, February 3, Grande Theatre Salt Lake City, 12:15 PM

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