Review: He Named Me Malala

The power of education

Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani girl who spoke up against the Taliban. She wanted equal education for girls, something that is being frowned upon in her home nation. They retaliated by shooting her in the head. She made a miraculous recovery and still continues on inspiring people, though she's unable to return to her home in the Swat Valley as she is being threatened with murder.

I've been moved to tears by hearing Malala speak before. She comes off so well adjusted, but this documentary shows that she really is just a normal girl, who fights with her brothers, crushes on hot cricket players, and occasionally does poorly on biology tests. She's very adamant that this life is not one her father chose for her, but rather one she chose herself. The bulk of the story is how she was named Malala and how her father encourages her. Her childhood is total through shadowy animation that works perfectly well. She mentions at one point that thinking of Swat feels like a "story" to her since she's not allowed to go back. It's only fitting her past takes on this animated story form too.

If anything, I wish there was more information here. I craved it. The film is very careful and still had plenty of original content, but I still had hoped for a bit more. One thing I never realized until recently was the amount of vitriol that is thrown towards this girl for not returning to Pakistan. Mostly by commenters on conservative websites, but still. I guess they think she should be a martyr and go home to be murdered? The doc touched very briefly on the criticism, but Malala herself didn't comment on it. It felt like an after thought. I wanted to hear what she had to say on the matter. Maybe it would help me understand it better, because right now it just sounds ridiculous.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I chose this life." - Malala Yousafzai

10 comments:

  1. This girl is someone I greatly admire and I also admire her father who stands right beside her and agrees with equality for women. We take so much for granted in our country and balk at actually very trivial things. All this girl wanted was to be treated equally and go to school etc... If she doesn't mention these right wing nutbars, who should she bother? they are not worth to talk about since she was shot in the head. She, along with Anne Frank, and a few others should be known by all people her age and by every person. What is sad is how every person knows the Kardashiasses but not everyone knows this girl. That makes me angry. They have talked more about odem (Oden who cares) scrotem being found in a brothel because he, essentially, OD'd than talk about what this girl is up to

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    1. It is very sad. I think it was Amy Schumer in one of her stand up bits that was complaining about who girls have posters on their walls of, and she used Malala as an example of who it should be. I disagree that she should not mention her detractors (not the Taliban, regular people) I want to know what she has to say about them, because maybe if she explains it better, they'll STFU. lol

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  2. oh no, I am disappointed to hear that it doesn't get more intimate. but i will rent this.

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    1. It's definitely a rental. It needed more.

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  3. This is one of my most anticipated, based solely on the fact that the trailer made me BAWL like a baby. She's such an inspiration. I'm sad to hear it didn't get intimate enough, but I'm glad her story is being told.

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    1. I cried when she was on the Daily Show, it's okay. lol

      It was still a good watch, I just wanted more.

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  4. I want to see this but I know it will upset me because she has done a lot and I have done nothing. I can never complain about anything now. Good review

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  5. I really admire her, and I'm thrilled that this doc even got made. Looking forward to it, even it's a little disappointing.

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    1. I'm also happy that it got made. I suppose I should've been a bit more grateful for that.

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