17 Sep He Named Me Malala : An Incredible Story, A Beautiful Film
This morning, I had the privilege of seeing the soon-to-be-released film, He Named Me Malala. I actually got to host a screening, with the support of Fox Searchlight Pictures and The Malala Fund, which I consider a huge honor. It was wonderful to share a theater with friends and colleagues in such a meaningful way. My husband called it a departure from the norm. Indeed. It was an experience that plucked us out of our daily lives and gave us an entirely different perspective, of life in a different world, a kind of life that most of us can’t even begin to imagine. And yet, knowing that this story comes from a true story, much of which is still very current, we can imagine it and I believe it is in that imagining—us putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes—that our very souls are touched.
I signed on to be an ambassador for the film (someone to help spread the word), sight unseen, because I was aware enough of Malala’s story to know that it would have to an inspiring film. And of course, it was. Beautifully filmed, illustrated and directed, it was even more than I had expected. It does move through all of the different facets of Malala’s personal story but it also traces the stories of her father and even her country.
Woven together in a poignant and poetic way were the themes that get to the very root of what it is to be human; family, love, truth, courage, faith and resilience. The best parts of being human. But, there is also the polarity to that and the film doesn’t sugar coat the issues. There are some graphic moments (reality can be graphic) but these scenes are illuminated for a greaeter purpose, to tell a bigger story.
“They thought the bullets could silence us…but out of that silence came a thousand voices.”
The director did an excellent job balancing the weight of the circumstances with the lightness of Malala herself. Despite being bright, brave and wise beyond her years, the film reveals perhaps an even more endearing side. She is certainly the hero, yes. But, she is not unlike any other child; squabbling with her siblings, playing games, watching cartoons and even having crushes. She giggles and blushes like a little girl and yet she more focused and fierce than any adult I have known. I loved seeing all the sides of she and her family.
I didn’t leave the theater merely feeling inspired (which truthfully, would have been enough) but I also felt better educated and emboldened. I am reminded that I have a responsibility to use my voice in every capacity I can. And I am encouraged knowing that the light of love, goodness and truth cannot and will not ever be extinguished.
He Named Me Malala will be in theaters on October 9th. Visit the films website and the Malala Fund site for more information. Join the movement and spread the word by using the hashtags #henamedmemalala & #withmalala.