Malala Yousafzai's brave struggle and unwavering spirit have inspired men and women the world over since she survived a near-fatal shooting by the Taliban in 2012, at just 15 years old.
After her miraculous recovery, the young Pakistani woman has continued to raised her voice louder and louder for the millions of girls who either aren't allowed to speak themselves, or don't have the platform.
He Named Me Malala chronicles her journey from the Swat Valley in her home country to Birmingham, England, where she now resides with her parents and younger brothers.
Director Davis Guggenheim (Waiting For Superman, An Inconvenient Truth) perfectly captures Malala's quiet strength and steely determination, which lies in endearing juxtaposition with her gentle innocence--and her quick insistence that, despite being the youngest ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize and her worldwide fame, she is a "normal girl."
The documentary blends scenes of banter between Malala and her family, video of Pakistan and the frightening bubble of oppression created by the Taliban in Malala's home, and heartwarming animations of Ziauddin Yousafzai and his role in raising his daughter, the activist who refused to be silent, even as a young girl.
The 18-year-old and her father are a close pair; he asserted that, from the moment he held her as a newborn, a special connection was formed. He gave her the now-infamous first name she proudly bears--inspired by a teenage girl who led a war in Afghanistan many years ago and died on the battlefield.
Yet Malala has taken a name from history and spun a vibrant future all her own: A survivor determined to save millions who share a similar story to hers.
Stand with Malala by supporting her campaign for girls' education, currently being led by her worldwide organization, The Malala Fund.
He Named Me Malala is now open in New York and Los Angeles theaters. It goes nationwide on October 9.