‘He named me Malala’: portrait of girls’ education icon

‘He named me Malala’: portrait of girls’ education icon

Written by Staff Writer

13 Oct, 2015 | 4:55 pm

“He named me Malala” is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, the passionate Pakistani advocate of girls’ education who survived a brutal Taliban gun attack in 2012.

Filmed over 18 months in Britain, Kenya, Nigeria, Abu Dhabi and Jordan, the documentary by American David Guggenheim recalls how Malala’s father chose her name in honour of Malalai of Maiwand, a heroine who rallied the Pashtun army against British troops in 1880.

The film follows her at school, in the streets of New York, at a refugee camp, spreading her optimistic and determined message on the right to education.

The documentary also shows her life in Pakistan’s Swat valley where she decided, aged 11, to write a blog for the BBC — “Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl” — in which she denounces Taliban violence.

Guggenheim turns to animation to bring to life these years before the attempted assassination in October 2012, when Taliban gunmen opened fire on then 14-year-old Malala on her school bus.

The film also shows the months of hospitalisation and reeducation of the girl who wants to become Prime Minister of Pakistan, as well as her close relationship to her father, himself a teacher and staunch defender of the right to education.

He Named Me Malala is scheduled for release on November 6.

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