William and the Windmill

10 Nov 2016 01:40 0
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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 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 both the dramatic upheavals and subtle shifts of perspective in this story about a complex young man straddling two cultures, carrying the burdens of his past achievements while boldly pursuing a bright future. Winner of the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary, The Austin Chronicle called it "a subtle but beautiful portrait," and Indiewire.com described it as "a fascinating look at the tricky balancing act of third world activism."

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