Malala1She’s known the world over for her Nobel Peace Prize-worthy fight for education for girls. Now Malala Yousefzai is the subject of the film, He Named Me Malala, which opens Friday, Oct 2nd in NYC and LA, and then nationwide on Oct 9. The documentary is an intimate portrait of this young, courageous woman and her family. Of particular importance is Malala’ close relationship with her father who has guided her education in Pakistan’s Swat Valley and continues to support her profound journey. We find out further that he named Malala after a national folk hero of Afghanistan who took up her flag and rallied Pashtun fighters against British invaders during the 1880 Battle of Maiwan. That Malala was eventually killed. We also see that father Ziauddin Yousefzai, instrumental in Malala’s crusade, has lead his own fearless fight against the Taliban as news clips in the film reveal of his past. The movie shows their shared humor and strong sense of purpose enhanced by Malala’s self-effacing mother Toorpekai whose own example of not receiving an education is evident in her unable to pick up English in their new home in Birmingham, UK.

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman) bookends the film with the event that changed the trajectory of Malala’s life, and in between, what we see is moving and real portrait of an international icon who still frets over exams and homework, teases her younger brothers and is in many ways, still a child. Yet, her bright spirit and steely determination are evident and serve to inspire movie goers by her and her family’s example. A Must-See!

“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.” – Malala




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