The E Street Cinema held a screening of the documentary,
He Named Me Malala on Monday, October 5, 2015. (Be sure to check out the book, I Am Malala.) Something that immediately stood out to me was the feeling of being homesick. After the attack on her life, Malala, and her family cannot return to their home and friends in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Now, they reside in the United Kingdom. The film captures the family well; reminding the audience that a Pakistani family has similarities to ones right here in the United States. What a difference it would be if there were continuous reminders of the things that make us similar instead of a constant reminder of what separates us.
The documentary helps the audience to see how her parents helped influence her life. She would sit with her dad as he had conversations about politics as, her father created a school which she explored at a young age. He spoke out against the Taliban using Islam to treat people unjustly. In one scene he reveals watching his own father give sermons wanting to be like him. I enjoyed hearing from her father and learning more about her mother. The relationship between father and daughter really touched my heart.
In the first scene and throughout the movie animation that resembles a moving watercolor brought to life tells stories from the past and how Malala got her name. These scenes break up the tense reality of the darkness of this world.
I had the honor to hear Malala speak during a phone interview on the day of her movie premiere. She encourages youth to speak up, and women to believe in themselves because they can do anything. She’s so confident and convincing. I’m reminded of other world leaders who knew of the threat of death over their life but didn’t let fear silence their voice. Her father spoke up feeling he had to speak up, her mother taught her she must always tell the truth, and the gun shot tells her she has already faced fear there is nothing left to stop her from continuing to speak for the right of girls going to school.
There is a moment when she doesn’t speak when asked about her struggles. It is clear the traumatic experiences she has already dealt with, feeling out of place at school, and being away from a home you love.
The movie reminded me of the children that can be forgotten unless talked about on the news. The refugee children all over the world who not only aren’t in school but don’t have a place to call home anymore.
I recommend seeing the movie with your family this weekend. Discuss it with them, see how you can help the Malala fund. Also spread the word on social media. Check out the trailer below: