#TIFF15: “HE NAMED ME MALALA”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
I went to the screening of Oscar winning documentarian Davis Guggenheim latest feature, HE NAMED ME MALALA, knowing the basics: when the Taliban took over the tiny village of Swat in Pakistan and forbade girls the right to any kind of education, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai spoke out against this policy and was shot in the head. Against all odds, she survived and after months of painful recuperation in Birmingham, England, she and her father, Ziauddin, have traveled the world as advocates for female education, culminating with her winning the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Using stunning animation to tell Malala’s backstory as well as family photos and some stock footage, Guggenheim not only captures her and her father on their many global and valiant visits, HE NAMED ME MALALA succeeds, brilliantly, because we witness a side of this exceptional young woman never seen before. This is a 17-year-old teenager who teases, and is teased relentlessly by, her younger brothers. She checks-out pictures of Roger Federer and Brad Pitt on the internet and is a huge fan of the sport of cricket. She teaches her father how to use Twitter and giggles shyly when it comes to talk of romance. The family dynamics are a sheer joy to watch, even though their transition to a new life in England is fraught with much sadness. Malala’s mother is still struggling with learning English and misses her home fiercely. The courage of this young woman and her family is inspirational.
HE NAMED ME MALALA is a powerful, educational and motivating documentary feature length movie making at its finest.
This movie screens at TIFF ’15:
Sunday Sept.13 11:30am at Bloor Hot Docs cinema
Saturday Sept 19 6:15pm at Scotiabank
#TIFF15: DAY 3 SPOTTINGS – EDDIE REDMAYNE, TOM HIDDLESTON, SUSAN SARANDON, SARAH SILVERMAN, LUKE EVANS, EMMANUELLE CHRIQUI, BRYAN CRANSTON, JESSICA CHASTAIN, EMILY BLUNT, MATT DAMON, GEOFFREY RUSH, DANIKA YAROSH, DOMINIC SHERWOOD, KATHERINE MCNAMARA + MORE!
Although the rain repeatedly held us back, we gained a bit of star-spotting momentum midday. Here’s some snaps from the rain-filled first Saturday of the Festival! Brrr.
Matt Damon. Lightning strikes twice and despite hearing rumours he was flying back to Europe to film the latest Bourne installment, we can confirm we saw him right before our eyes again heading to the Entertainment Weekly party!
Joel Edgerton. The shaved-headed Australian Actor/Filmmaker is at TIFF ’15 with Black Mass, also starring Johnny Depp.
Jean-Marc Vallée. We love Dallas Buyers Club and it was a great pleasure meeting finally the Canadian Filmmaker who created that masterpiece. He was represented by Opening Night Gala Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
Dominic Sherwood, Katherine McNamara + Alberto Rosende. The three stars of upcoming Toronto-filmed TV Series Shadowhunters were out partying together at the Entertainment Weekly party earlier.
This adorable kid will steal your hearts in Thriller, Room. Jacob Tremblay, everybody!
Geoffrey Rush, screen legend, here this year with The Daughter.
Emily Blunt. She’s done few photos with Fans oddly this year. Not sure why? She looks amazing and was out alone earlier at the Entertainment Weekly party.
Jeff Daniels, quietly making an exit from the Entertainment Weekly party. He is here for The Martian.
We love emerging talent and this young actress Danika Yarosh got lots of exposure on hit series Shameless. She is here filming Heroes Reborn, which premiered at TIFF‘s new TV Programme.
Former TIFF Rising Star Mackenzie Davis is set for the big time and she stars in The Martian.
Bryan Cranston. The Trumbo star will wow you bigtime with his performance in that TIFF ’15 selection.
Our George Kozera attended the Premiere of He Named Me Malala by Davis Guggenheim at Ryerson Theatre and the response was unanimously positive for the Documentary. A Skype session with young activist Malala Yousafzai herself was held in the Q&A.
Eddie Redmayne at TIFF ’15 for The Danish Girl. Johnny Depp showed-up to his Premiere in support of partner Amber Heard who has a supporting role in the Film!
Toronto’s Emmanuelle Chriqui at TIFF ’15 for The Steps.
Luke Evans at TIFF ’15 for High-Rise.
Sarah Gadon at the In-Style Magazine party, TIFF ’15.
Patrick Stewart, who stars in Green Room at TIFF ’15, blowing Fans a kiss.
Harry Potter star Clémence Poésy at TIFF ’15 for The Ones Below.
Potential James Bond, Idris Elba at TIFF ’15 for Beasts of No Nation.
Ben Foster at TIFF ’15 for The Program, a Film about the Lance Armstrong scandal.
Michael Shannon at TIFF ’15 for Freeheld.
Susan Sarandon at TIFF ’15 for About Ray.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)