What stands out in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (a Netflix film) is the terrible beauty of the African country of Malawi.
Hope and famine are its human cycle. The majesty of the mountain in the background is unaware of the crushing poverty at its base.
The beauty of its traditions also impedes survival when the old ways hold them back and blind them to a better more modern solution.
This is a place where struggle and political terrorism coexist in the same breath. Where the thirst for education has to overcome the objections of old lore, unchallenged elemental emotions, fragile family bonds that can crumble with the change of the fickle weather- abundant and hopeful as a long rain; grim and determined and betraying as a parched land seeking nourishment from a rock and the urge to follow the wind because it seems the only thing in the world that knows where it is going.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is terribly beautiful film in the way that existence is gorgeous in its persistence and delight for life and horrible in that humanity only can understand and appreciate its brevity.
The director and costar Chiwetel Ejiofor chooses hope in his mixing of an African village’s life. The dynamo and the windmill allows the water to flow from the well, the crops to grow and the village to live in times of starvation. When the young William climbs to the top of that tower and looks out at the mountain, the veldt, the bowing sky, he can sees that beauty and his future.
All photos courtesy of Netflix