Lily’s 5th grade class read about Malala this year. She was inspired and would come home and tell us all about this modern-day hero. So when I was approached to be a media partner for the upcoming documentary – He Named Me Malala – airing on the NatGeo Channel on MONDAY February 29 at 8:00pm EST, I had to jump onboard.
He Named Me Malala is a powerful documentary about Malala Yousafzai. Malala is the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Peace Prize and she has proven to be this generations, hero in a very unconventional way. Unlike the heroes we see on the big screen – you know muscles, brawn, skin-tight outfits, capes, and magical transforming power, Malala’s strength and power lie in her words.
At the age of 11, living in Pakistan, she decided to start a blog. Yes… a blog. A blog where she talked about the Taliban regime and her support for girls to be educated. She gained fans and was shot down in public 3 times on a bus and left for dead.
He Named Me Malala tells this story and has real-time accounts of what happened, what has happened since, and gives the viewer not only the full play-by-play of Malala’s powerful story but also takes us into her culture and family.
I’m not going to go into a full review of the film, because you can read all about it all over the web. However, I would like to give you a parents perspective and whether or not you should watch this film with your child. *Note: I said WITH your child. It’s a tough one to have a kid watch alone.
Lily is 11. She’s in 5th grade. She has read the book and knows the story. She had lots of questions about the shooting and grasping the concept that girls are denied educational rights over boys. She had questions while reading the book and we answered them the best we could.
The film. The film is different. It’s visual and there are a lot of images that are tough to take in for young kids. The content is serious with visuals of the blood on the bus, her face after being shot, and imagery of local life in poverty ridden areas of Pakistan.
There are a few moments of emotional relief like the beautiful relationship she has with her father who, contradictory to the stereotype of Pakistani men, supports and fuels Malala’s women’s right’s movement, and another moment when Malala is caught looking at pictures of David Beckham online. I mean… who can blame her right. But overall, this film is intense. Especially for kids who have not been exposed to any context or real life experience similar to the Pakistani terrain, culture, and imagery in this context and storyline.
He Named Me Malala is a PG-13 film. And this is an appropriate rating. If your child is watching PG-13 movies already, then you should watch this because this film with its ( very few) graphic visuals and true change-makers- story that’s happening right now. At least this film has a better message than other PG-13 flicks where zombies are eating people or snakes have invading a plane or even 6 o’clock the news.
This said, it is an important documentary that should be watched by kids in Middle and High School. The mature content will resonate and may even work as a call to action for some kids.
He Named Me Malala is an important documentary and PARENTS… you …WE… should watch it. To know the truth and to know what’s happening and to know that our children will be inspired by this strong change-maker.
What does the name MALALA mean? We learn from the film that – Malala’s father – who is a significant part of inspiring his daughter to fight for what she believes in, named his first born -fueled with power from the beginning. Malala is named after the Pastun Joan of Arc of sorts – Malalai of Maiwand, who fought and gave her own life while she encouraged Afghan soldiers to stand up against British colonialists.
He Named Me Malala will be shown commercial free on the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC channel on Monday February 29 at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT.
Another way to support this amazing story and cause is to tweet #withMalala! Between now and 3/10 and 21st Century Fox will donate $1 to the Malala Fund for every tweet tagged #withMalala. It’s never been easier to support the Fund and girls’ education globally. Tell all your friends to get on board too!
Please tweet this message —> @thenewyorkmom & I are standing #withMalala Please RT this message to have @21CF donate $1 to @Malalafund 4 supporting girls right to edu!
*Thanks for swinging by and supporting this powerful story! You guys are awesome!*