He Named Me Malala Review - Beautiful, Inspiring, Timely, Necessary

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

He Named Me Malala, from Fox Searchlight Pictures and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, presents a beautifully crafted auto biography of the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner and the incredible journey that brought her to that place.

In association with Participant Media and National Geographic Channel, He Named Me Malala allows the camera of Oscar winning director Davis Guggenheim and the producing team of Walter Parkers and Laurie MacDonald into the home, life and past of Malala Yousafzai and her family, Zaiuddin Yousafzai, her father, Toor Pekai Yousafzai, her mother and her two younger brothers, Khushal (15) and Atal (11).

He Named Me Malala begins with a story, spoken in voice over by Malala and presented on screen in beautiful, gentle dreamlike, picture book animation sequences that play on screen. This style of live action sequences and animation sequences runs throughout live action. The combination works wonderfully.

The story of this lush paradise, Swat Valley, Pakistan, where a Kurdish people called home and the first of many wars that would come into their valley. This time, a child, a female name Malalai rallied the armies and stopped the men from believing the voice of fear. She was killed in battle.

The animation continues to tell the birth a Malala. Rising from the past, a child was born, and an adamant and devoted father named her Malala, a women of “bravery.” Her early childhood was a typical of a Middle Eastern child. Her parents loved each other, and loved their children.

The story of course is being told because a 17 year old boy, shaking as he pointed the trigger, a Taliban in training, approached the van Malala and her two friends, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz, were riding as they came home from school, and fired. The bullet entered Malala’s left brow, causing severe brain trauma, and swelling and like any grave gun injury, the bullet itself wreaks havoc on the body. Humans are not meant to be used as target practice.  

Previous to this day, Malala had been defying the Taliban rule and attending school, which is strictly forbidden. She had also agreed to write a journal for BBC Television on Life inside the Taliban, she was vocal, outspoken, demanding equal education rights for her and every female in Pakistan. The louder her message the more determined the Taliban became at silencing her.

The trauma was so severe she would need additional medical treatment and was airlifted from Pakistan and flown to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for further treatment and recovery.

Miraculously she survived the night and the flight. Her recovery was videotaped and live footage from those early dark days, when she couldn’t catch a ball to sitting and standing from a Pilates exercise training ball.

The attempted murder of Malala was the shot heard around the world. It was only minutes after when the BBC was reporting and the crush of media began what has become common to her. Wherever she goes she is meet with the same crush of media.

She was quoted as saying after the shooting, “Nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born.”

Her family, whom she adores, has adjusted to life outside Pakistan. Her younger brothers and father probably more so than her mother. Malala compartmentalizes life very well. He Named Me Malala showcases this as she is a world leader, a struggling student, recovery and time away caused the superior student to slip somewhat in her marks which is important to her.

She is a boy shy teen, or was during the making of the film. She is beautiful, charming, kind with strength of character uncommon to humanity, and a gentle soul. She and her family have a home life, separate from the media life that Malala and her Father, Ziauddin, have. He the son of a gifted orator, has struggled with stuttering, which was hardly noticeable until mentioned. Now he speaks, when his daughter does not, on her behalf.

The animation that complements the story explains the background of Ziauddin, the son unable to speak as his words would fall empty to the ground fought through this with a determination and soon it changed. He was gifted, he struggled and won the fight against the evil that wanted to silence him.

Malala is the youngest person to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize, which she share with Kailash Satyarthi, and Indian Children’s Right Advocate. Her courage, dedication and bravery, led her to stand and speak for educational equality as the Taliban would destroying the schools, reducing the sanctuary of learning for children without thought or concern fueled by hate, into a pile of rubble. Nothing would be left as school after school was demolished.

I was captivated by He Named Me Malala. Malala is charming, matter of fact, as she moved in between lives, world leader and teen age daughter and sister, her personality, the real teenage girl was evident. She was cast into the spotlight and the experience changed her life and subsequently the world has been and will continue to be changed also.

Jason Carpenter headed up the animation team, as a creator his “mosaic” was instrumental in the story though the use of whispering, wispy, upswept motions which were so important in complementing the factual elements of the story. It was lovely.

Davis Guggenheim, gained the trust of the family over the course of the two years of filming and even Toor, Malala’s mom, allowed herself to be captured on film. He managed to tell the story, in a way that captured the audience, as the film is so much more than a documentary of events already well known and heavily featured in the mainstream media.

He Named Me Malala is a beautifully crafted film. It breathes new life to a well-known topic and allows the world to see or at least get a glimpse of the many facets of this world leader.

He Named Me Malala ends with Malala addressing the United Nations and the now famous quote, “One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”

Malala continues to advocate for equal education opportunities. She had her father co-founded the Malala Fund, an organization that focuses on empowering girls though quality secondary education. The dreams of both the father, who wanted to teach, to learn, and to teach and the daughter who only wanted to be allowed to have an equal educational opportunity have come to realization through tragedy.

He Named Me Malala is a must see, a historical documentary, from the Oscar winning director of An Inconvenient Truth. He Named Me Malala is inspirational, encouraging, galvanizing.

He Named Me Malala opens in select cities October 2, 2015 and everywhere the following week, October 9, 2015.

Haute Tease

  • Diana Nyad Becomes First to Swim from Cuba to Florida

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad, after four unsuccessful attempts, has become the first athlete in history to swim the Florida Straits from Havana, Cuba to the United States without a shark cage or fins.

  • John Glenn, First Man to Achieve Space Orbit and Former Ohio Senator, Dies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    John Herschel Glenn, Jr., the first NASA Astronaut to achieve space orbit and former U.S. Senator, has passed away. No official cause of death has been released although at age 95 natural causes and age related complications are expected.

  • Après Daesh, un Etat islamique 2.0

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    La mort du calife Abou Bakr El-Baghdadi marque la fin de l'Etat islamique dans sa version territoriale identifiée. Mais cette disparition n'annonce pas l'apparition d'un nouvel Etat défait d'attaches géographiques au profit d'une dissémination tentaculaire ?  

  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Twitter War, Antifa, Jobs, Heroes Act, Pandemic Rage, George Floyd, Minneapolis

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump distanced himself from his radical left base by issuing an announcement designating Antifa, the Anti-Fascist militant group, a terrorist organization mainly for its use of violence including inciting riots, bombings, and civil unrest.

  • An Evening of Food & Foto’s for Foundation Rwanda

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Fifteen of LA’s most celebrated chef’s recently gathered at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills for an evening of Food & Foto’s to benefit Foundation Rwanda.

  • Breath Review - Coming of Age Surfing Drama Has Heart

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Breath, from Film Rise, presents a heartfelt coming of age drama which has two best pals suddenly and irreversibly captured by the wild waves off the Australian coastline and a onetime champion who agrees to mentor them.

  • Money News: Top Global Markets Close Down; Shanghai Rallies

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average, fell to the bear and closed the trading week down with stinging triple digit losses as the Wall Street mauling carried over into the top ten global markets with records highs and strong performances erased across the European and Asian Markets.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama, Economic Chief Pitch EOY Fiscal Cheer; WH Presses UI Extension; Claire Davis Dies; ObamaCare Deadlines

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama, feeling the heat this week as he was grilled by the White House Press Corps over his EOY account, remained upbeat while all polls and confidence indicators suggest he is closing the year at the lowest point of his Presidency.

  • Celebrity Attorney Mark Geragos Joins National Family Law Trial Institute Faculty, Offering Advanced Cross-Examination Expertise

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The National Family Law Trial Institute in Houston, Texas, today announced celebrity attorney Mark Geragos, will join its faculty in May 2016.  Geragos will teach Advanced Cross-Examination (May 21 - 22, and again onMay 23 - 24, 2016).  

  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Pols at Odds, Border Wall, Rep’s Gone Wild; Brexit Looms; Stalking

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Trump returned to Washington after meeting with Troops in Iraq to begin the contentious budget wars that have resulted in a partial government shutdown and created a deeper divide between the White House and both Houses.

  • Beltway Insider: Trump’s First 100 Days; France Elections; Marine Le Pen, Tennessee Teacher; LA Riots at 25

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald Trump marked his first 100 days in office this week, a milestone that is met with ranks and ratings as the former business leader continues to struggle with Hillary backlash and persistent and alleged election fraud.

  • Three Women Missing a Decade Found Alive

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, three Cleveland, Ohio, women, who had been missing for over a decade, were found alive held captive together, after a stunning escape.

  • The Guilty Review - Intense, An Edge of the Seat Psychological Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Guilty, from Magnolia Pictures and Nordisk Film, presents a highly suspenseful, psychological drama, focusing on one suspended on desk duty police officer answering the emergency calls and the one call that becomes the race against time.

  • The Corona Virus -1918 All Over Again?

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Clusters of a dozen or so deaths may get nonstop “if-it-bleeds-it-leads” press coverage. But the lack of preparedness for the really, really big threats may be met with virtual radio silence—until panic breaks out.

  • Beltway Insider: Russia Engages U.S. Warship; Maintains Ukraine Initiative; Boston Marathon Anniversary; Pot Pardon

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Escalating tensions between the United States and Russia came to a boil this week as a Russian fighter jet engaged in provocative taunting action against the USS Donald Cook, a missile destroyer, sailing in Black Sea international waters.