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He Named Me Malala

He Named Me Malala Poster

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8 Reviews
3 Ratings
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A look at the events leading up to the Taliban's attack on the young Pakistani school girl, Malala Yousafzai, for speaking out on girls' education and the aftermath, including her speech to the United Nations.Wikipedia

He Named Me Malala Reviews

He Named Me Malala is a must-see for anybody who cares about the world and the cause the protagonist stands for.

"My father only gave me the name Malala, he did not make me (the person I am), Malala," is the only blunt statement in this documentary that hits the nerve at the right spot. This spontaneous response, from Malala Yousafzai, shows that she has the spunk and a mind of her own. Malala is a perfect subject for a great documentary but unfortunately this documentary lacks her spirit.

Veteran documentarian Guggenheim, who won the Academy Award for 2006’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and has critically acclaimed works like “It Might Get Loud” and “Waiting for Superman" behind him, appears to have lost focus in the brouhaha over a young girl’s much revered super-heroics. And that wasn’t really expected!

The story of Malala Yousafzai is unique, inspiring & moving and He Named Me Malala does justice to her story. It may just inspire a few souls to join her cause of making education possible for the girl child across the globe. The film takes a peak into the other side of her story; her personal space, the relationship she shares with her father and shows us what drove her to bring about the change she intends to, in the world.

Tania Rana


A poignant tale molded with an interesting narrative and outlook. It isn’t everyday that you get to see the tale of the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has the intrepidity to say and mean the words, "One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world". This is a recommended watch for children; to inspire them and show them a world completely different from what they probably know.

Malala is highly confident, well spoken yet cheeky, and the story is powerful and inspiring. The documentary on her short life, which has had a far-reaching impact, is a bit reverential, safe and rather straightforward, giving one the sense that it might be aimed at children and adults alike.


It’s a halfway house between the observational and the reverential, with cutesy moments with the Yousafzai family mixed with awe at the ease with which Malala addresses world leaders and handles the media. In its weakest moments, He Named Me Malala feels like a campaign tool for the activist’s foundation and for the larger cause of women's education. The film is an incomplete picture of a work in progress, but the teenager’s confidence, maturity, wisdom, and talismanic status in the world of global activism are undeniable even in the most uncritical moments.

Special Event Reviews

  • Eden Dias
    Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival


    Malala Yousafzai became famous in 2012 as the girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban at the age of 15. Her crime: she wanted to go to school. This hour-and-a-half-long documentary follows the now-18 year old advocate of women’s education around the world, and the youngest-ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize last year. Director David Guggenheim takes us through the life of the exceedingly smart and courageous Malala and her supportive, playful family as they adjust to their new home of England where they relocated to in 2013. He shows us a side of Malala we rarely get to see – that of an ordinary teenager who gets nervous in front of a crowd, and crushes on Shane Watson. Colourful animation sequences vividly depict episodes from her family’s past, and appear as a stark contrast to the horrors they’ve had to face over the years. A definite crowd-pleaser, this uplifting film will leave you feeling inspired.

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