“He Named Me Malala” details the like of an extraordinary girl who survived extraordinary circumstances.
Known as the girl who was shot by the Taliban, or as the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Prize, the film gives viewers a glimpse into who Malala Yousafzai really is. We learn about her crushes, see her at school in the UK and learn about her education. Since she was a young child, Malala loved to explore her father’s school, and yearned to attend when she was old enough. The story takes a turn for the worst when the Taliban start to take over Swat Valley, a community she calls home. However, no matter the conflicts, Malala is determined to receive a quality education. The film details Malala’s childhood growing up and the key events that have led to her advocacy today.
Using her name as a central theme, the film conjures a sense of destiny. The documentary starts out with the story of her name, Malala. Her father had named her after Malalai of Maiwand, a legendary Pashtun folk heroine who dared to speak out. It was almost like her path was chosen at that instant. However, Malala’s story is also told through the lens of her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, and her mother, Toor Pekai. Her father, a loving educator who was a prominent speaker in the community and her mother, a deeply religious and caring person, would soon pass their traits on to their child. Through the obstacles that they face and celebrity that Malala gains, the film shows that her family is like any other family. They love to gather around the table to tell jokes and play cards. Malala also bickers with her younger brothers, which makes for some entertaining scenes.
This is such a great film for younger children. In the United States, it is mandated by law that every child go to school, but it is often forgotten that many children in the world do not even have that opportunity or luxury. So producers Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald have set up free screenings and programs so that children around the world can see the film.
The film is released October 2 in select theaters and opens wide October 9.