He Named Me Malala chronicles the lives of Malala Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai. Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the last few years, Malala is the young girl who was shot in the head by the the Taliban for standing up to them as they took over her homeland Swat Valley, Pakistan.
After surviving her assassination attempt, Yousafzai was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, to recover and reside. It was this event where she captured the world’s heart and catapulted her profile with the cause that she fights for: education for children, especially young girls.
The movie starts out with Malala recovering in the hospital in conjunction with the story of her birth name. Her father named her after an Afghanistan woman who rallied the troops against the invasion of the British army, only to be shot in the head and killed during fighting. Afterwards her narrative splits into two storylines that intertwine cohesively to tell the story of her upbringing and the story of her uprise into fame as an activist.
He Named Me Malala explores the relationship she has with her family, most notably her father and the impact that he has had on her life. Ziauddin grew up in a family where education was pivotal and he instilled those views onto Malala. She grew up with the strong belief that everyone has a right to education. You’ll get to meet her two brothers. Her two brothers add humour to what can be a somewhat dark documentary. The relationship they cultivate is loving and playful keeping Malala grounded while the young Nobel Laureate endures the media storm surrounding her life.
Malala is more than a hero to the children she represents around the world, she is a child herself. A child that struggles with school math, meets friends, and develops crushes on cute boys and famous celebrities. After watching the story of Malala unfold one can’t help but be inspired to help make the world a better place.
Watch the trailer for He Named Me Malala below!