henamedmemalalaA Child, A Book, A Pen  And A Teacher Can Change The World
He Named Me Malala
With: Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai (father), Toor Pekai Yousafzai and Khushal Khan Yousafzai (brothers) with Atal Khan Yous
Director: Davis Guggenheim, inspired by the book “I Am Malala” by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai
Cinematography: Erich Roland
Composer: Thomas Newman
Fox Searchlight/National Geographic Channel
Rating: PG
Running Length: 88 minutes
Director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) now turns his camera on a young woman, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban to keep her from speaking out on educating women.  That didn't work. Malala has gone on to inspire the globe, enough so that she was awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.
The film begins with the shooting, though implied rather than seen. She was with friends on a school bus when it happened. Through the use of  a quiet form of animation, we see scenes that could not have been photographed. Then we are taken into today and a view of Malala and her family, with two younger brothers.  The family moved from the Swat Valley in Pakistan to England and have lived in several locations through the years.
When Malala was born, the oldest child in the family, her father thought she would be great, so he gave her the name of a medieval female warrior who stood for good.  The name certainly has taken, and as Malala said, it is quite something to live up to. She was a bright child, loved reading, and even disciplined her brothers. The fraternal grandfather was a noted speaker, as is the father.
It is when the Taliban takes over that in Pakistan, that women are strongly demoted and education is deemed unnecessary. There are scenes at the hospital and in rehab where Malala learns to walk and gain strength in her body. One could say, “a typical teenager,” as she has her screen favorites (soccer players and Brad Pitt). The siblings tease each other, with the youngest boy complaining of getting the worst of it.
Throughout the film, you see the camaraderie of the family unit and how easily Malala interacts with the public. She is a grand speaker---positive, to the point and passionate about education and educating women. One wonders what lies ahead for this young woman who has a lifetime of travels and speeches and books to write. The warrior “Malala” of old, would be proud. 
So to quiet this young woman who would speak out for women's rights, the sentence was death, and one wonders now if those same Taliban leaders are still around or moldering in some prison or worse. Like the trick gun in an old Matt Helm movie starring Dean Martin---fire the gun, but the real bullet goes back into you.
Copyright 2015 Marie Asner