Why You Shouldn’t Miss The Movie He Named Me Malala
Some of us spend a lifetime connecting to the intrinsic thing inside us that brings us outside of ourselves. In watching the movie He Named Me Malala we experience this vicariously and and we are inspired by the humanity of a 15 year old to do more, to make a better world not just for ourselves but for others.
He Named Me Malala opened nationwide and is the true story of an ordinary girl who is living an extraordinary life. Let me remind you that He Named Me Malala is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, who on October 9, 2012, was shot along with two of her friends, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz, on their school bus by an armed Taliban brigade in Pakistan’s lush Swat Valley. She was just 15 years old. Yet, what happened to Malala drew the world’s attention to her voice.
In 2009, Malala had begun writing an anonymous blog for the BBC expressing her views on education and documenting life in the Swat Valley as the Taliban banned music and television, made it impossible for women to leave their homes to shop and severely curtailed schooling for girls. Though the blog was halted, she continued speaking out in the international press and in 2011 Malala received Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize. Shortly after, at a meeting of Taliban leaders, a vote decided that the teenager should be assassinated. Like who does that? A bullet entered Malala’s left brow, requiring extensive surgery and a titanium plate to fix the damage. But though the gun wreaked physical havoc, it did not diminish Malala’s intelligence, commitment or compassion to her belief that girls should be educated. Contrary to what one might expect, she emerged as a campaigner for the rights of children worldwide. In December 2014, became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
You have got to be wondering where her name Malala comes from. Her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, who you will often generally see with her on news reports, says, “That name was so inspirational to me that I thought that if I had a daughter, I will name her after the Malalai of Maiwand. There was a real deep passion in my heart when I was naming my daughter after her, that she will have a role. She will have a life. She will have a recognition. She will have an identity, which Malalai of Maiwand had. ”
How could he have known that she was a special child. What we learn in this exquisite movie is that Malala is an ordinary child living an extraordinary life and her father, mother and brothers are an integral part of how she became this person. We learn that her home environment, in our awe for her bravery and composure, is what feeds this child who is old beyond her years. With her family, this Nobel laureate is young and light and funny.
I was consumed by the Yousafzai family. The filmmaker, Davis Guggenheim, filmed this movie over the course of 18 months. So the movie takes its time in helping us understand the relationships between Malala and members of her family. In producing the film this way, we come to understand why indeed Malala believes education is for everyone.
I believe that Malala would be the first to tell you that her life is important because of what she is able to do with her life. Education is for everyone. It is a basic human right. This is her message. She is a teenager and at the same time she is a global agent of change. With this simple message that education is a basic human right, Malala shows the world how much more we can all do with our lives if we take a stand for something.
Take a look at the trailer and make time to see the movie.
The movie is complicated so think about whether it is presently appropriate subject matter for your child. Because He Named Me Malala will spark questions you may not yet want to discuss with your child. Here is a link to a Parent Guide should you take a child. You, however will want to see this movie.
What can you do? First go see the movie. Here is a link to theaters nationwide. Consider making a contribution at www.malala.org.