He Named Me Malala

2015 PG-13 1h 27m DVD

He Named Me Malala

2015 PG-13 1h 27m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Vividly portraying the obstacles Pakistani women face in getting an education because of prohibitions by the Taliban, this affecting documentary chronicles the story of Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old who was shot because of her advocacy efforts.
Malala Yousafzai
Davis Guggenheim
Widescreen 1.85:1
English SDH, Spanish (Neutral), French
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 12+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 12+
age 12+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Davis Guggenheim's documentary He Named Me Malala is a moving, engrossing, sometimes disturbing, but also delightful documentary about Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, an uncommonly brave teenage girl who's also a world-renowned human rights activist. The film is frank about everything that led to Malala's shooting in 2012, including the increasingly turbulent politics that fed into the event and the subsequent challenges she faced -- and continues to face -- as she moves forward. While there's no graphic imagery that directly reveals the extent of her injuries, viewers do see bloody pictures of the vehicle she was riding in, as well as surgery-prep scenes, and there's news footage showing how almost everyone expected her to die. That, combined with the film's other references to violence and images of gunfire, threats, and explosions, make it too intense for younger viewers, but older tweens and up are likely to find the movie's messages about courage, the importance of education, and standing up for your beliefs absolutely inspiring.

Sexual Content

Reminisces of Malala's parents' romance; suggestion that Malala fancies certain handsome athletes.


Though the exact moment when Malala was attacked isn't shown because it wasn't filmed, viewers see images of the bloody scene and moments when she was being prepped for some of her many operations; her bruises and scars are a testament to what she's been through. News footage of armored vehicles, gun-brandishing Taliban enforcers, the aftermath of public executions, fiery explosions, and more hints at the menace that Malala and her neighbors had to deal with. Plenty of talk about threats the Taliban made against others, including beheadings.


Not applicable

Social Behavior

No matter what challenges are thrown at you, you can overcome them as long as you know who you are, stay grounded in what you believe, and speak when your voice needs to be heard. Promotes the importance of family and standing up for what you believe in. Underlines the necessity of education for all children everywhere and portrays school and study in an extremely positive light.


Any product logos appear by happenstance, not for commercial purposes.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Not applicable

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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