Category Archives: Documentary

He Named Me Malala

I Name Her Amazing

What a disappointment. Malala is an incredible person and what she is fighting for deserves to be heard by as many people as possible so it’s disappointing that there was only six people in my screening. One of these was obviously myself and another being my girlfriend.

If you don’t know who Malala Yousafzai is you must have heard of the last part of her story; the part where she was shot in the face at point blank range for speaking out against the Taliban in favour of women gaining an education.

You remember that part right? Well He Named Me Malala is the other part that you probably don’t know. It is the rest of her story. What’s fascinating about this story is how brave, vocal and, quite frankly, tenacious Malala has been. When I mentioned that Malala spoke out; this isn’t like some grumpy teenager retorting “ugh, in a minute” when asked to do the hoovering or scribbling “d) err.. how about no?!” on a multiple choice questionnaire with only 3 answers. No. Malala actively campaigned against the Taliban regime. A regime that only tolerates active compliance.

Because of her campaigning there are television and radio broadcasts from before the time she was shot. These sections are combined with animations, shots of Malala’s home town, interviews with her family, recent news/media coverage and the odd artistic shot of locations. All this is fine but I found that it was all edited in a jumbled up way.

We end up with lots of different plot threads all running in parallel such as Malala adjusting to life in the UK, her old life as a political campaigner, her father’s life as a teacher and so on without any of it really feeling that coherent. I would have been equally as happy, if not more so, to have a chronological breakdown of the events that lead to her getting shot, then how she recovered and what she is doing now. By jumping around the timeline it also lessens the impact of the moment where she was shot because there is never enough time to build drama within the unfolding events.

As a produced documentary it’s actually not that good but forget I said that nonsense because you shouldn’t be watching this to applaud it for being a technically stunning documentary. You most definitely should be watching to celebrate Malala’s strength of conviction her passionate and unshakeable belief that every child should receive an education if they want it.

It’s such a mundane idea that it is easy to take it for granted living here in the UK. To be able to take a step back and listen to first hand experience in being denied this basic concept, this basic right, makes you feel like a small part of big world – similar to standing on top of a mountain. The fact that Malala speaks with blunt logic is also beautifully refreshing in world where politics is run by spineless half truths, blatant scaremongering and ferocious finger pointing!

Malala absorbed much of her activism from her father Ziauddin Yousafzai who opened his own school in Swat in Pakistan to teach children. Part of his core education was to teach people to stand up for what they believe in and to challenge the rules that society dictates. He too was targeted along with his school for speaking out against the Taliban regime and striving for equality so his story is every bit as interesting as Malala’s.

What really shines through above all else is that these people are just ordinary people. Ziauddin just wants to teach people, he has no real desire for power. Malala would rather lead a ‘normal’ childhood but won’t do that until every child is allowed to have a normal childhood.

The Yousafzai’s are an example of how good humanity can be. It’s a crime that they can no longer return to their home but hey the UK is a better place for them being in it.

Watch this film. If you don’t agree with that last sentence then that is just as criminal and in fact you are probably just as much of an issue as the Taliban were in the Yousafzai’s home town.

Let me put it this way; you don’t have to grow a tail and some whiskers and lap it up when the¬†powers that be drop a saucer at your feet filled with policies that say fuck education, fuck free healthcare or fuck the environment.

Doesn’t mean you have to be politically active either. Just make sure you know where your moral compass points and be a decent human to the other humans around you. It’s not hard.

Go See

  • Malala’s spirit
  • Malala’s Father
  • Life affirming


  • Weird story timeline
  • Not as dramatic as you might expect
  • If you are racist/xenophobic