~~September 24, 2015~~
HE NAMED ME MALALA
The inspiring story of 18-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai is being told in a new documentary, “He Named Me Malala.”
Directed by the award-winning Davis Guggenheim, the documentary follows Malala from her early years as a girls’ education advocate in Pakistan through the assassination attempt of the then 15 year old by the Taliban in 2012 to her work today as a world famous champion for girls’ rights around the world. The film, which will be released in October, acts as a companion to “I Am Malala”, the memoir that Malala published last year.
As the name of the film suggests, Malala’s father’s, Ziauddin Yousafzai, choice of name for his daughter held deep significance — and almost eerie portents of the future.
The original Malala was a legendary heroine in Afghanistan’s Battle of Maiwand in 1880.
“This girl, this mythical Pashtun girl who rallies the Afghan troops that are losing to the British,” Guggenheim remembers. “She climbs a mountain and tells them, ‘Fight for your lives. It’s better to live like a lion for one day than a slave for a hundred years’ … And I’m just sitting there thinking, ‘Malala is named after a girl who speaks out and is killed for speaking out.
And then Malala is a young girl who speaks out and is shot, almost killed, for speaking out.’”
Malala and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai
Guggenheim filmed the family for two years, and much of the film shows the family in their new home in the UK; these joyful scenes are a stark contrast to the the news footage of the Taliban’s assassination attempt. The film also cleverly weaves in animation, including a stunning animated sequence depicting the legendary Malala’s battle.
He hopes that his documentary shows people, particularly parents, the power of believing in their children’s potential. “Maybe if you were to reduce what Ziauddin did for Malala — he saw her as a human being in a culture where girls don’t have names, or they’re seen as people to be married off at a young age, or worse,” he says. “I think about this Pakistani father who took the family tree, which goes back 300 years of Yousafzais, and there are no women. He does this radical thing, which I’m sure many Yousafzai men would find offensive — he took a pen and wrote her name on the family tree.”
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~He Named Me Malala Official Trailer~
Malala Yousafzai Documentary
~Published on Aug 28, 2015~
A look at the events leading up to the Talibans’ attack on the young Pakistani school girl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls’ education and the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.