March 15, 2016

He Named Me Malala - Review


This young girl has inspired millions. 

From her tragedy has come incredible achievements. 

The film is done in a way that works really well. Artistic animated images fill the parts that were no longer possible to film.

There is not a person who cannot learn something from her. 
She is highly intelligent,insightful and intuitive.

I was very impressed with her and her father. She is an excellent role model for young people, and older ones too!

Education is indeed the key to everything! 
She is a young girl who became a celebrity by accident, not by desire.
You can watch it here.


The word "inspirational" gets bandied around a lot, but it can safely be applied to Malala Yousafzai, the young Pashtun activist from north-west Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban and survived. Now living with her family in Birmingham, she won the Nobel Peace Prize last year and continues to champion the cause of female education in the Muslim world and elsewhere.

Since her arrival in Britain, Malala has been courted by Western politicians of all stripes, even if her views on US foreign policy – drone strikes in particular – don't entirely line up with those of the White House. At the age of 18, she's also a fully fledged celebrity who has appeared on the cover of Time, enjoyed a well-publicised chat with Justin Bieber, and recently turned up on the Late Show demonstrating card tricks to Stephen Colbert.

The fullest account of Malala's career to date appears in her 2013 autobiography I Am Malala, co-written by the British foreign correspondent Christina Lamb. This documentary by the American director Davis Guggenheim – best-known for the environmentalist polemic An Inconvenient Truth – goes over much of the same ground, without supplying the same amount of detail. It does, however, succeed in conveying the lively personality of its subject, an extremely likeable young woman with a big lopsided smile, an easy laugh and a challenging look in her eyes: in short, anything but a goody-two-shoes figurehead.

Some of Guggenheim's footage seems meant to show that Malala at heart remains an ordinary teenage girl: we see her squabbling with her brothers, watching cartoons on her laptop, and giggling as she's teased about her celebrity crushes (who include Roger Federer and Brad Pitt). But none of this quite rings true, any more than we can believe the Pakistani critics who claim Malala is merely parroting the views of her father and role model, Ziauddin, a former schoolteacher who now works as an adviser to the UN. It's hard to imagine that Malala was ever "ordinary" in any sense, even if other girls might have spoken out as boldly with a Ziauddin to encourage them.

The truth seems to be that Malala is both a genuinely remarkable individual and a symbol of collective feelings much bigger than herself; arguably this could be said about most celebrities, but the contrasts of scale in Malala's case are a little more dramatic. Without taking anything away from her achievements, there's something absurd in the notion of any teenager winning a Nobel Prize – or failing to win and then struggling to conceal disappointment.

Considered strictly as filmmaking, He Named Me Malala is no more distinguished than the rest of Guggenheim's work. The narrative moves back and forth between Malala's present-day life and her childhood in Pakistan. Interludes of kitschy animation, created digitally with a simulated watercolour look, make the earlier period resemble a gradually darkening fairytale. The shooting and its aftermath are saved for the climax, which tastelessly uses shadowy, out-of-focus photography to simulate Malala's perspective as she hovers on the brink of death.

As the title He Named Me Malala suggests, this isn't only a film about Malala: her parents are equally intriguing, and in some ways more puzzling. Ziauddin is ready to burst with pride in his daughter, yet feels understandable guilt over the consequences of her following in his footsteps; still, this hasn't deterred him from supporting her desire to speak out. Malala's mother, Toor Pekai, is a more conservative, recessive figure, but her near-invisibility makes a statement in itself. She seems reluctant to be photographed at all, leaving you wondering what she thinks about Malala's very different path.

Plainly, Malala is her father's daughter, but she has also inherited some of her mother's reserve. "You don't like to talk about your suffering," Guggenheim says, and suddenly she loses her usual chattiness, uneasily rubbing her chin and agreeing she doesn't have much to say. If Guggenheim is aiming for a scene of tearful catharsis here, he doesn't get it. While Malala bears a deceptive resemblance to a typical 21st-century celebrity, she and her family remain part of a culture far removed from the confessional ethos of reality TV. Perhaps this in itself is one of the secrets of her charm.


See also

Malala Yousafzai Quotes: Heartwarming,Thoughtful and Inspirational!    
Related: Jonathan Yeo:Try Bonding With Baby After A Facelift 

The Nobel Prizes In Numbers