Reuters — Most people know Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was
shot by the Taliban in 2012 for demanding girls’ right to education, but few have
heard of the 19th century Afghan heroine she was named after – a woman who
spurred her countrymen to victory against British.
The legend is recounted in “He Named Me Malala”, a new documentary about
Yousafzai, whose attack while riding a school bus shocked the world.
Malala and her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, hit the red carpet in New York to
celebrate the film’s opening with director Davis Guggenheim.
The teen was happy to use all the attention to help spread her message of equality.
“It’s wonderful because I have these young girls with me, girls from Nigeria,
Pakistan, who want to have the right to education and they are standing up for it.
So, if their voice can be heard. This is the deal, this is what I want.”
Filmed over 18 months, the film shows a teenager more at ease on the world stage
than with classmates.
“After watching the film it was so beautiful that it made me so happy that it can
teach to many people and can inspire many people to come and join us.”
One way to support her is through the Malala Fund’s campaign Stand#withMalala
which “advocates for free, safe, quality education for every girl, for 12 years of
primary and secondary education.”
While much is known about Malala’s advocacy work, the documentary lifts the veil
on her family life.
“Well, Davis was a bit kind, but not very much. My brothers say a lot against me.
So, you’re going to see the rivalry between brothers and sisters through the film.”
Now a global household name, her father says he doesn’t mind sharing his daughter with the world.
“I always said that once upon a time she was my daughter, but now I’m her father
only, people know me as her father. And many parents write me that she is not
only your daughter, she’s our daughter as well. And I say, ‘yes, of course.”
The movie opens in theaters in the United States from Oct. 2 before its release in
Britain later in the month.