He Named Me Malala

Film, Documentaries
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He Named Me Malala

An enlightening if rather unfinished-feeling documentary about the Nobel-winning teenage girl from Pakistan

Prepare to be humbled and awed by 18-year-old Malala Yousafzai: shot in the head by Taliban militants when she was 15, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize at 17. When she accepted her prize, Malala joked that she was the probably the first recipient who still argued with her younger brothers. In this doc we meet her family – now living in Birmingham. Her dad Ziauddin is a miracle. An education activist, he broke 300 years of tradition to add his daughter’s name to the male-only family tree and encouraged her to get an education. ‘If I had an ordinary father then I would have two children now,’ says Malala, who is, by the way, hilarious as well as unbelievably courageous.

This doc captures the extraordinariness of being one of the world’s most famous teenagers. While her classmates at school are getting their first boyfriends, Malala is jetting off to meet Hilary Clinton. This is a sensitive, respectful doc. When Malala says she doesn’t want to talk about her traumatic injuries, the filmmakers don’t pry. Which is fair enough – she’s still a teenager and her attack was only three years ago. But this doesn’t feel like a story fully told. Maybe we’ll learn more in 30 years – in a doc interviewing Pakistani president Malala Yousafzai. Still, if you know a teenage girl, book tickets now.

By: Cath Clarke

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Release details

Release date: Friday November 6 2015
Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Davis Guggenheim
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