Pick of the week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

He Named Me Malala Tues­day, 7.30pm, Nat Geo Peo­ple (628) “There’s a mo­ment when you have to choose whether to be silent or to stand up,” says Malala Yousafzai, now 18. As the world knows, at 15 this ex­tra­or­di­nary Pak­istani stu­dent de­fied the Tal­iban by stand­ing up for the right of all girls to be ed­u­cated. The ex­trem­ists sin­gled her out on a school bus trav­el­ling home to Min­gora in the Swat Val­ley and shot her in the head. “They thought the bul­lets would si­lence us. I am the same Malala,” she says. Iron­i­cally, her ac­tivist father, Zi­aud­din, named her Malala af­ter the Afghan folk hero­ine Malalai who ral­lied Pash­tun fight­ers against the Bri­tish in 1880 and was killed. This in­spi­ra­tional doc­u­men­tary by Davis Guggenheim ( An In­con­ve­nient Truth) paints a mov­ing por­trait of what Malala has been through and her dogged de­ter­mi­na­tion to keep up the fight which, in­ci­den­tally, started well be­fore she was shot. Aged 11, she wrote a di­ary, then a blog, ob­serv­ing the anx­i­ety girls felt about be­ing de­nied an education. The youngest re­cip­i­ent of a No­bel prize (in 2014), she and her father have al­ways been close. He en­cour­aged her to speak up for what she be­lieved. Courage runs in the fam­ily. Zi­aud­din was an out­spo­ken critic of the Tal­iban. Ar­tic­u­late, brave, funny, Malala is a born leader. She and her fam­ily, in­clud­ing two cheeky brothers, now live in Eng­land. She has just passed her fi­nal ex­ams with fly­ing colours.

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