TIFF review: ‘He Named Me Malala’ ★★★

Director Davis Guggenheim opens his latest documentary, He Named Me Malala (2015), with its most essential element – the voice of Malala Yousafzai. Instantly recognisable, she narrates the animated story of an Afghan heroine who spoke out against the invasion of British forces at Maiwand in 1880. Leading the Pashtun to a great victory, she was killed during the battle. This legendary figure was called Malala, from whom the ‘he’ of the film’s title – Ziauddin Yousafzai – drew inspiration to name his daughter. Cut from the same distinctly principled cloth as her father, the modern-day heroine would also go on to raise her voice in defiance of an enemy that threatened her way of life.

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