Verdict: A stunning tale of resilience that stirs the soul
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
The story of Malala Yousafzai is a story of one such teenage girl, who decided to keep soaring high even when oppressors tried to snip her wings. In this case of course, the oppressors were the notorious Taliban. She stood for what she believed in and fought with conviction against injustice. Since that fateful day three years back, Malala has come a long way. Today, the eighteen year old Malala has become a symbol of bravery, persistence and a fighter for the cause of education rights of children.
But, Davis Guggenheim‘s documentary about this brave-heart isn’t just a look at the events. It explores Malala’s personal relationships. Ziauddin Yousafzai, her father named her after a Pashtun folk hero from Afghanistan, Malalai of Maiwand. Her story of courage and selflessness is an inspiration and it can be safely assumed that the name rubbed off its magic on Yousafzai’s then 15-year old daughter. He named her Malala and she stood by her name.
The film shows the deep connect between the father-daughter duo and manages to give us a glimpse into Malala’s mind. She’s an ordinary girl when she’s with her family. She fights with her brothers, Khushal and Atal, she helps her father figure out the world of Twitter, she doesn’t always agree with her mother, Toorpekai‘s views, she blushes when asked about cute cricketers and who her favorite is. She wonders if she’ll be able to fit into this new world so far away from her homeland Pakistan. She is an ordinary girl who became extraordinary because of her unfaltering faith in her stand and her miraculous mettle.
The film has beautiful animated scenes that add to the appeal of the documentary. They recreate the story and the events without overly intensifying the mood. The documentary offers us glimpses of the beautiful and virgin valley of Swat, Pakistan, her home, the Talibani terror and the friends that Malala had to leave behind. When asked if she’d go back, she replies with "they’ll kill me".
Guggenheim’s approach is subtle and some questions remain unanswered. However, you feel as if the documentary shows us only what Malala wants us to see. She hides her fears and emotions and that is the only bit missing from an otherwise interesting film.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
A poignant tale molded with an interesting narrative and outlook. It isn’t everyday that you get to see the tale of the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has the intrepidity to say and mean the words, "One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world". This is a recommended watch for children; to inspire them and show them a world completely different from what they probably know.