By Ranny Levy, Founder/President of Kidsfirst!
Davis Guggenheim, known for his award-winning documentaries An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman, brings to the screen the incredible life story of Malala Yousafzai and offers insight into the life of this young woman. At the heart of this film are the interviews that show us the impact of Malala’s father and family in creating who she is. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Lainey A. comments, “This movie is very inspirational, educational and makes me realize how fortunate I am to have an education and not have to worry about the safety of my life or family.” See her full review below.
He Named Me Malala
By: Lainey A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
There is a moment when one should choose to be silent, or to stand up.” -Malala
This movie is very inspirational, educational and makes me realize how fortunate I am to have an education and not have to worry about the safety of my life or family.
He Named Me Malala, is a documentary about Malala Yousafzai who takes huge risks to stand up for girls’ rights to receive an education in Pakistan. When Malala is 15 years old she makes public speeches about how she doesn’t think the Taliban is doing the right thing by blocking girls from getting an education. One morning on the way to school, members of the Taliban board Malala’s school bus, ask for her by name and try to assassinate her. Malala is shot on the left side of her head and she miraculously survives. After her recovery, she continues to put her own life in danger by speaking out against the Taliban. Fast forward to 2014, at age 17, Malala is the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
The relationship between Malala and her father, Ziuddin Yousafzai is very strong and shown throughout the film. Malala says that she and her dad have two different bodies but they share one soul. They both speak out and help each other to have a voice. Ziuddin named his daughter after a historical Afghanistan woman who courageously went onto the battlefield to fight for freedom. Similarities are shown between the two Malalas, both strong young women willing to take a stand.
My favorite scene is at the beginning of the movie when Malala is at her home with her brothers and Dad having conversations like any tight-knit family. This scene offers some comedic relief between Malala and her brothers and this scene shows she has a normal life.
The message of He Named Me Malala is that we should stand up for what’s right and what you believe in, no matter the consequences. That can be really difficult. Malala really shows what she believes in and she says that there is a moment when one should choose to stand and she does. She chooses to speak out. The movie states, “When you educate a girl, it changes our world.” Thanks to Malala, more girls are getting educated and our world will be a better place because of it.
I rate this documentary 5 out of 5 stars because it is very inspirational and shows how one person can really make a difference in our world. I recommend this film for ages 13 to 18 because it is intense and has actual news footage of murders done by the Taliban. This film is in theaters now so go check it out.