Malala, casts a long shadow over Davis Guggenheim’s documentary concerning the young activist, for daring not merely to head to school, but to recommend that other girls do it, too, shot by the Taliban.
In a turn that will mark the legend as revised mythmaking if it was not so nicely documented, the namesake Malala was shot and killed for her bravery.
The modern Malala’s name fits with what Guggenheim appears to have in mind here, though, perfectly. As the primary section of his name suggests, he’s interested in more than just the activist:
Embedded here is the story of the bond between Malala’s dad Ziauddin and his now-famous daughter, the way the picks this teacher and outspoken activist himself made shaped her into someone using the wisdom and fortitude to stand up and continue talking, despite the threats against her.
The shadowy sides of this are clear, summed up regarding the wake of the shooting in a concurrently touching and haunting entrance from Ziauddin: he was convinced that, if his daughter woke up, she was going to blame him for what occurred.
And yet he uncomfortable letting it take centre stage, instead deferring to that particular name that is renowned, settling more often than not for a TV-news-segment-degree presentation of Malala with bits of family-life colour thrown in.
There are maybe some good reasons for that: it would certainly work counter to the whole message of Malala to give attention to a guy, even if it is her dad.
Although, there is a difference between overlooking what and exploring the influence of who’s clearly the most crucial figure in her life she did with that. However, the result is one that’s content to merely repeat the thoughts which have encircled her since she survived tragedy, a lesser documentary.
That narrative is still probably enough to recommend He Named Me Malala, particularly if she’s nothing more than a name to you personally. Hers is the circumstances of girls in a microcosm as she often points out, and her life is no less harrowing or moving even in retelling. Guggenheim has mostly squandered a chance to tease out its deeper threads. But maybe, in the amount of folk hero, all you ever actually are is a name.