Director and screenwriter Chiwetel Ejiofor and actors William Kamkwamba, Maxwell Simba, Aissa Maiga pose during a photocall to promote the movie “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” at the 69th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
BERLIN (Reuters) – A movie premiering in Berlin tells the true story of a young boy from a famine-stricken village in Malawi who studies books about energy then builds a wind turbine that enables farmers to irrigate their land.
Directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” tells the story of William, an engineering enthusiast who resorts to secretly using the school library to learn when he is expelled from school because his father – a poor farmer – cannot afford to pay the fees.
The farm land around the village gets flooded, ruining the crops, and then later dries out, leaving people with hardly any food. Desperate villagers steal food from William’s family and they end up with just enough for one meal per day.
Less educated villagers doubt William’s turbine idea will work and his father initially refuses to give him the bike – one of the family’s few possessions – that he needs to make it, telling him to start helping on the farm instead of studying.
The father later gives in and William uses the bike, some wood and junk that he finds in a scrapyard to build the towering construction that powers a water pump. At the end of the movie, he climbs the turbine to see green plants shooting out of what was previously dry, cracked and barren land.
“I was struck and continue to be struck by just what an extraordinary achievement it was,” Ejiofor said. “What his story represents is really living in the solution, not living in the problems.”
The film is based on an autobiographical book with the same title written by the real-life William Kamkwamba. Kamkwamba said he hoped people who had not read the book would see the movie and learn about his story, adding: “They might get inspired by my work that I did, so I’m very excited.”
Maxwell Simba, who plays William, said he was struck by William’s determination to fight for what he believes in despite his difficult relationship with his father and despite being expelled from school.
“If you are really determined to go get what you want, then the universe has its own way of working out for you to achieve at the end of the day what you wanted to achieve,” he said.
Additional reporting by Swantje Stein; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Frances Kerry
Meghan Markle’s estranged half-brother urges the Duchess of Sussex to reunite the family
“He’s hurt and very confused about what happened to his relationship with his daughter and I think he’s a little more frustrated now because he’s got a grandchild coming up with his favorite person that he worshipped,” Thomas Jr. explained.
He continued: “They had such a tight bond together and now he’s worried about if he’s ever going to get to see his grandchild. It’s a new addition to the family and now would be a perfect opportunity for the family to get back together.”
According to Thomas Jr., the rift between the family members started back when Meghan landed the role as Rachel Zane on the TV series, “Suits.”
“A lot of the distance happened between Meghan when she went to Toronto and her first big break in TV which was ‘Suits’ and it turned out to be a big hit in the USA,” he stated, claiming that he believes the 37-year-old former actress “turned into a little Hollywood starlet” who was “focused on her career so much.”
“I get it,” Thomas Jr. noted. “I get being in that world because once you’re down that path you’ll do anything it takes to be successful so that had a lot to do with being distant from her whole family.”
However, at the same time, he added that the way he sees it is if “Meg wants to talk to me I’m sure she can get a hold of me.”
Meghan and Thomas Sr. have been at odds ever since he missed her royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018, and their relationship grew even more acrimonious after he published a letter from her earlier this month begging him to stop speaking to the media and to stop siding with her half-sister, Samantha Markle, who she accused of selling stories to tabloids.
In the same video interview obtained by OK! Magazine (via the Daily Mail), Thomas Jr. also spoke about Samantha, claiming “she was very jealous of Meghan from the very beginning and still to this very day.”
“‘I wouldn’t believe anything that’s written in there [her tell-all book],” he said, revealing that he hasn’t spoken to Samantha — who he reportedly describes as “negative” and “hard to get along with” — in years.
‘[Thomas Sr.] has even said to me ‘I wish Babe [Samantha’s reported nickname] would shut her mouth already and be quiet,'” he added. “My number one message for Meghan would be to reach out to her father,” he added. “It would mean the world to him to be back in her life and be part of his grandchild’s life.”
As for what Meghan was like growing up? Thomas Jr. called her a “happy kid” who was “always smiling.”
“We would have a little Christmas at our house and then go to [Meghan’s mother] Doria’s mom’s house — they had the really tight environment and it was really nice being there,” he recalled. “She was really into Disney movies, like ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Aladdin.’ There was nothing tomboy about her — she was all princess. We would take our dog for a walk and take lunch and play with the dog.”
Fox News’ Jessica Sager contributed to this report.
Khloe Kardashian responds to Tristan Thompson’s alleged infidelity
Khloe Kardashian appeared to be letting emojis do the talking amid reports that Tristan Thompson – her NBA player boyfriend and the father of her child – was unfaithful to her.
After Hollywood Unlocked, an entertainment news website, posted an Instagram video Tuesday about the alleged cheating with Jordyn Woods, who is best friend’s with Kylie Jenner, Kardashian sounded off with a series of talking head emojis in the comment section.
“#PressPlay One of our contributors was at #TristanThompson’s house party and saw what went down! @kyliejenner we need you to address some thangs with @jordynwoods,” the post said. “Anyhow, #JordynWoods stayed at his house until approximately 7am. Who needs to go?! Comment below!”
The organization, apparently noticing Kardashian’s comment, took a screenshot and posted it to their Instagram.
Larsa Pippen and Malika Haqq – both of whom are pals to the star – also reacted to the post, writing “Amen!!!!” and “STRONG FACTS,” respectively, US Weekly reported.
Kardashian and Thompson are no longer together following the alleged infidelity, according to E! News.
Representatives for the pair did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Julius Young and Katherine Lam contributed to this report.
Cook County state’s attorney recuses herself from Jussie Smollett case
The Cook County state’s attorney has recused herself from the investigation surrounding Jussie Smollett, as Chicago police continue to dig into the alleged hate crime attack the actor claims occurred last month.
State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself on Tuesday, but it was not immediately clear why. First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats will take over the case as acting state’s attorney, Fox News has learned.
Foxx’s recusal came as the Chicago Police Department rejected a tip the bureau received earlier Tuesday regarding the “Empire” actor’s case.
Anthony Guglielmi, chief communications officer for the department, tweeted that the tip alleging that Smollett was spotted in an elevator in his building with two men who were initially considered suspects was “unfounded as it was not supported by video evidence obtained by detectives.”
Smollett, who is openly gay and black, reported that on Jan. 29, he was attacked by two masked men as he was walking home from a Subway restaurant. He claimed that the men shouted racial and anti-gay slurs at him, poured a chemical substance on him, threw a rope around his neck and shouted, “This is MAGA country!”
Investigators revealed on Friday that two suspects were questioned in connection with the alleged attack, but were released without charges “due to new evidence.”
Chicago police said on Saturday that Smollett was no longer considered a victim in their investigation.
Smollett’s attorneys, Todd S. Pugh and Victor P. Henderson, vehemently denied that the attack was a hoax, previously telling the press: “As a victim of a hate crime who has cooperated with the police investigation, Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with.”
“He has now been further victimized by claims attributed to these alleged perpetrators that Jussie played a role in his own attack,” the statement continued. “Nothing is further from the truth and anyone claiming otherwise is lying.”
Separately, court documents recently obtained by Fox News reveal that Smollett was convicted for DUI and providing a police officer with false information. It was not immediately clear what information he lied to police about, but it’s related to a vehicular charge. Smollett’s legal team did not deny the arrest.
Fox News’ Mike Tobin and Matt Finn contributed to this report.
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