'He Named Me Malala'
(Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2015 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: 'He Named Me Malala' is a look at the events leading up to the Taliban's attack on Pakistani schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls' education followed by the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.
DVD Verdict: Well, this was another documentary that I had not heard much about, and boy, did I do more research about it, and the young lady at its forefront soon thereafter. I hope you do too, as she, Malala Yousafzai is inspiring, brave, and as cultured as anyone on this planet; without exception.
Now, as much as 'He Named Me Malala' is a cinematic political statement, one should know where its true life depth originates. Ergo, on the afternoon of October 9th, 2012, Yousafzai boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. A gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired three shots. One bullet hit the left side of Yousafzai's forehead, traveled under her skin through the length of her face, and then went into her shoulder.
Director Davis Guggenheim has proved his expertise in the documentary world with excellent work in Waiting for Superman (2010) and his Oscar winner An Inconvenient Truth (2006). Though Malala may be his most fascinating subject to date, this is probably not his best filmmaking. The extensive use of animation distracts from Malala's story, and also Guggenheim's attempts to show the teenage girl that exists alongside the global activist are often disjointed.
We enjoy seeing her warm and sincere interactions with her brothers and her embarrassment at low grades on school work, but each time one of these sequences begins, the film abruptly shifts to another incident – possibly as a reminder to us that her life is anything but normal.
Some of the film's highlights include Malala's speech to the United Nations assembly, the crime scene photographs of the bus on which she and her friends were shot, and those moments when she lets her emotions roam free … she mutters "It's so hard to get things done in this world". We feel her pain and find ourselves wanting to stand with Malala.
In 2014, Malala Yousafzai was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi. The Norwegian Academy awarded them the prize "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education" At the age of 17, Malala became the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Prize. So, again, I implore you all, please watch this incredible documentary and discover more about this incredible, devoted, unflinching young lady that will, most assuredly, one day change the face of her country's history - if she hasn't done so already. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:
5 Promotional Featurettes: Story - On Davis - Who Is Malala? - Stand With Malala - Animation.
About the Malala Fund