The Malala of the title is, of course, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head when she was 15 years old by the Taliban for voicing her support for female education in her country. The ‘he’ is her father Ziaddin, himself a critic of the regime, and this documentary from director Davis Guggenheim is as much about their relationship as it is about Malala’s remarkable story, from victim to activist to winner of the Nobel Prize.
Following her story from her time before the attack in Pakistan, to her hospital treatment in Birmingham and her unusual life since – she has achieved so much yet is still only 18 years of age – the movie is an interesting look at her life that should inspire and inform both children and adults who watch it. Moving, fascinating and even heart-warming, it leaves some questions unanswered and never delves too deep, but as an introduction to an extraordinary young woman, it’s a must see for everyone.
Is He Named Me Malala suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Parents should note that the movie does feature verbal accounts of the shooting of Malala, and footage of the bus where she was attacked that shows blood on the seats.
There is also some brief footage of her in the operating theatre.