SXSW Film Reviews: 'William and the Windmill'

Daily Reviews and Interviews

SXSW Film

William and the Windmill

Documentary Feature Competition, World Premiere
D: Ben Nabors; with William Kamkwamba, Tom Rielly

William Kamkwamba seized an opportunity when famine destroyed his Malawian village's livelihood. After dropping out of school due to a lack of foods and funds, teenage William found a photograph of a windmill, gathered scraps, and fashioned the windmill that would later generate electricity and bring power and promise to his people. Developing a friendship with American Tom Rielly initiated a sharp turn in Kamkwamba's road toward education and global success, but the straddle between cultures worlds apart taught William a word not used in his native Chichewa: stress. The combination of his youth and a far-beyond-his years maturity grounded William in the chaos. Filmed over five years, director Ben Nabors' documentary paints a subtle but beautiful portrait of William and the windmills that transformed his world. Capturing daydreams of William's faraway home and his new (and sharply contrasting) urban environments, this documentary gracefully illuminates issues of black, white, rich, poor, hard work, pain, destiny, and dreams.

Thursday, March 14, 11:15am, Stateside

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More Screens Reviews
SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Hawking'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

Michael King, March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW 2013 Film Reviews: 'Museum Hours'
Daily reviews and interviews

Andy Campbell, March 15, 2013

More by Jessi Cape
Austin Embroiderists Build Community Stitch by Stitch
Austin Embroiderists Build Community Stitch by Stitch
Local interest in fiber arts is growing rapidly as people find stitching is a way to calm nerves, find friends, and make political statements during the pandemic

April 9, 2021

“Our House, Our Rules”: Austin Restaurants School the Governor on Limited Government
“Our House, Our Rules”: Austin Restaurants School the Governor on Limited Government
Local eateries make plain – mask requirements aren't going anywhere

March 19, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

SXSW Film, William and the Windmill, Ben Nabors, William Kamkwamba

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle