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He Named Me Malala | 2015 | PG-13 | - 1.4.1

A documentary about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was targeted by the Taliban when she was 15 years old and shot on a bus after she spoke out about the need to educate girls. Directed by Davis Guggenheim. Several lines of dialogue are spoken in Pashto and other languages with English subtitles. [1:27]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A teen girl talks about other girls her age having boyfriends and dating. A teen girl says that if she were an ordinary girl and her parents were ordinary conservative parents, she would have two children by now. A man talks about marriages of love, romance and romantic dates.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A gunman takes aim at a teen girl and we hear a gunshot; then we see a lot of blood on the seats of a bus. We see blood on the ground in a square where a man had been killed and a dead body with bloody clothing in the back of a truck.
 We see a teenage girl on a stretcher as she is taken to a hospital after having been shot in the head; we see her with bandages on her head and face, she is shown in an MRI machine and we hear that she was in a coma. A teenage girl is shown being examined by a doctor and we see scars on her throat and neck and the doctor talks about severe nerve damage. Many brain and head X-rays are shown as doctors describe the damage that was done when a teenage girl was shot in the head.
 A teenage girl draws a diagram of the scene when she and two friends on a bus were shot by an armed Taliban member. We hear that nobody thought that she would survive. We see an animated depiction of the story of Malalai of Maiwand (a folk hero who led Pashtun fighters against the British at the 1880 Battle of Maiwand): it shows armed people running from soldiers on horseback during the battle, and then turning back to fight and we see some stabbings (no blood is shown) and a young woman is shot (no blood is seen) and we hear that she died. We hear that a man would encourage his students to rebel against tradition and customs and teach them to raise their voices.
 We hear about the abduction of Nigerian school girls and we see some of the parents grieving as they meet with Malala, hoping that she can help to free them. We hear that the Taliban would go to people's houses and kill them for speaking out. We hear that a man was shot in front of another man and the second man was told that he would be killed too if he didn't do what the killers told him to do. A teen girl talks about worrying about her father and that some of his friends had been attacked and some had been killed.
 A young woman says that when she was in a coma, she was thinking that she was dead and that she had terrible dreams. We hear news reports of a teenage girl having been shot by the Taliban. A voiceover is a rallying cry: "It is better to live like a lion for one day than to live like a slave for 100 years." A teenage girl's younger brother says that she slaps him all the time. Three siblings argue and the eldest girl arm wrestles with her younger brother. A voiceover describes that there had been no woman listed on her family's family tree for 300 years until her father listed her. We hear that during a daily radio broadcast, a man would list the names of people who had been sinful. A teenage girl talks about her mother not being educated and that she covers her face because of tradition. We hear that a teenage girl tells President Obama that drone attacks are fueling unrest. We hear that a teen girl's mother was the only girl in a school and that she chose to stop going. We hear that the Taliban spoke about vulgarity and instructed people to burn their CDs, VHS tapes and televisions (we see piles of these items in flames in the streets). We see billboards with the faces of women in the ads removed. People talk about "violence in the name of God." We hear that the Taliban started killing police and blasting police stations (we see the rubble of buildings). A teenage girl says that if she goes back home, she will be shot. We hear that the Taliban became so strong and that they ordered, "No girl should go to school and that anyone who does will suffer the consequences." We hear that 3 million Syrian children are out of school.
 We hear explosions and hear about many schools being bombed and destroyed (we see the rubble afterward). We see a depiction of tanks rolling through streets and that people had to leave their homes.
 A man has a stammer and we hear that his father ridiculed him about it when he was young. A teen girl is frightened by a dog that barks as she walks through a hallway. We see an animation depicting a teen girl's fear for her father; she would see shadows moving across her wall in the dark, and she would get up to check the gates and the doors.


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LANGUAGE 1 - Name-calling (laziest, naughtiest), 5 religious exclamations (e.g. during a radio broadcast a man repeats blessings that include "May God...," God Almighty, Oh My God, In the Name of God).


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SUBSTANCE USE - None.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Education, losing hope, Taliban, Afghanistan, Pakistan, normality, isolation, Kenya, equality, family, dependence, forgiveness, women's rights, superstition, ideology, faith, power, role models, Nobel Peace Prize, UN, independence, Islam, truth, peace, suffering, war, politics, life choices.

MESSAGE - When you educate a girl, it transforms our world.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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