HE NAMED ME MALALA does an outstanding job of placing the extraordinary next to the ordinary in this inspiring documentary about teenage activist Malala Yousafzai. For every scene of Malala addressing world leaders; there’s one of her and her family playing snap. Right after seeing her volunteering on the Syrian border, we see her googling her favourite sports stars and giggling about how cute they are. The juxtaposition of ordinary and extraordinary presents Malala as every other teenage girl who contains these multitudes, it doesn’t reduce her to a name or an icon but instead presents the fact that a Nobel peace prize winner can still feel uncomfortable at a new school and get in fights with her brothers.
Whilst this is definitely aimed at school aged kids, being more about Malala’s story and the importance of educating girls worldwide rather than a hard hitting insight into life as a girl under Taliban occupation (if you want something like that then watch the amazing Buddha Collapsed Out Of Shame which made me openly weep in a geography lesson when I was in year eight). It’s great that it’s a PG and it is accessible to children who might not know anything about education and sexism. The best part was coming out of the cinema and hearing fourteen year old boys saying “thank god if you have a sister!”, “Let’s get the train to Birmingham and see Malala!”, “We should make a film… how to learn English when you come and help people like Malala!”
And with so many coppola-esque shots of Malala staring out car windows, what’s not to like?
By Reba Martin
Reba Martin is an 18 year old from Bristol. She’s been obsessed with the Simpsons since before she could walk, and watches it religiously to this day. Her hobbies include planning to go to the cinema, and going to the cinema. A few favourite films are Eraserhead, Ghost World, and Clerks. You look at her movie diary here and she tweets @rebaxmartin