Davis Guggenheim’s (Waiting For Superman) documentary, He Named Me Malala, is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakastani girl who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen who targeted the then 15-years-old for speaking out in defense of gender-equal education. From the violence, Malala emerged as much more than a survivor–she is an activist, a leader for children’s rights across the globe, and in 2014 became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Malala Yousafzai’s story features some unfathomable violence and hatred, but the evolution of this young civil rights icon is a story sure to inspire everyone who listens, no matter their age, gender, or race. Hers is a story hard to tell but essential to teach.
He Named Me Malala has the potential to be a wonderful tool for teaching the dark struggle of civil rights to children. While the violence of Malala’s story may be a challenge for younger children to comprehend, the hope that emerges is sure to inspire preteens and older children to reach beyond themselves.
He Named Me Malala will be released in select theaters on October 2nd.