Our school was funded by the Malala Foundation to go see “He Named Me Malala”. The film was a documentary. It told the story of now-18-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head, at the age of 14 by the Taliban for daring to stand up for female education. Malala was born in Mingora, Pakistan, located in Swat Valley. For the first few years of her life, her hometown was a popular tourist spot, known for its summer festivals. But that all began to change as the Taliban attempted to take over.
The film did a really good job of giving the viewers an inside look at what Malala’s life was like before the shooting, including what it was like when the Taliban started to take control. They also informed the viewers about things that weren’t really looked into by everyone, due mostly to people looking for information only about the shooting.
Malala had attended a school that her father had founded but after the Taliban began to attack schools in her hometown, Malala gave a speech about the rights of girls to get an education. Malala and her father both spoke out to crowds about standing up for rights. She had already been recognized for prior speeches. She was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize and had been awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize! With a growing public platform for standing for something the Taliban did not approve of, the Taliban’s anger toward Malala grew more and more, and they set out to kill her.
Clips of her speech and also clips of her father speaking were in the film. I think it was important to know that Malala spoke out before her tragedy, and not only her but her father too.
One day when Malala was on her way home from school a man boarded the bus she rode and demanded to know who she was. After she was discovered by the turning of her friends' heads, the man shot her in the left side of her forehead. The bullet ricocheted, hit her arm, and two friends of hers were also injured. The shooting left her in critical condition and it was a long process before Malala was back to her normal self.
This part of her story was shown by complete silence and pictures of the bloody seats of the bus and also a cartoon diagram showing what happened during the attack. They also gave us a view of her during therapy. This was one of the most, if not the most, emotional scene of the film.
After seeing her in therapy, not even having the ability to catch a ball, I realized we should all be grateful for being able to do what we do. We should be grateful for being able to go to school and back home without having to watch for someone trying to harm us. We should also be grateful for being able to even go to school.
After that section of the documentary, they showed what Malala did with her popularity from the shooting. She didn’t take advantage of it like most teenagers would; she used it to inform more people, including the President of the United States, about ways we can help stand up for young children’s education.
The documentary really emphasized how strong, determined, and courageous Malala was and still is. Malala is a huge inspiration to me. I think everyone should see this film because I believe everyone could take something positive away from Malala’s story.