"Malala" is the name of a legendary Afghani girl who had the courage to speak out and was eventually killed. This timely documentary directed by David Guggenheim (the award-winning "Waiting for Superman") gives us a first-hand account of her namesake, a courageous Pakistani girl who has the temerity defend her right to attend school, much to the outrage of the religious zealots who tried to kill her. Even more interesting to me, was the gradual shift of the Taliban from a charismatic new political influence to a tyrannical, blood-thirsty theocracy.
Now that she has been awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, Malala has become a highly visible advocate for education throughout the world, believing that this is the most direct way to cleanse countries of radical zealotry. "One child. One teacher. One book." To balance her celebrity we appreciate the humorous ways her family keeps her grounded, part of which includes doing her homework and getting along with her three younger brothers.
As we come to grips with the realities of life in Pakistan through news clips and interviews, we also learn about Malala's family history through animated figures and family photos. By the way, her father discovered that his family tree goes back over 300 years and Malala is the first female name that has ever been entered.