malala-doc

The much anticipated documentary film about teenage human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted and shot by the Taliban, will be released in the UAE in November.

The film takes an intimate look at the life of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who was just 15 years old when she was severely wounded by a Taliban gunman while she was returning home from school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in October 2012.

The shooting put the teenager into the international spotlight, such was the outcry over the attack on her, carried out because of her outspoken support for the equal rights of girls to receive an education.

In the newly released trailer, the stage is set to describe Ms Yousafzai’s rise to prominence, giving a deeper look into her personality through interviews with members of her family.

Also included is recent footage from the youngster’s appearance on US television in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where she spoke at length about the upcoming film.

“It is part of our human nature that we don’t learn the importance of anything until it is snatched from our hands. In Pakistan, when we were stopped from going to school, at that time I realised that education is very important and education is the power for women,” she said during the interview.

“That is why the terrorists are afraid of education. They do not want women to get education because then women will become more powerful.”

The film, which offers insight into what Ms Yousafzai’s life was like before and after the attack, will be released on October 2 in the United States and is expected to be released a month later in the UAE.

Michael Garin, chief executive of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, who worked on the documentary’s production, said the film makes an impact because it tells the story of not just a young girl, but a sister, a daughter, an activist and a hero.

“What’s so powerful about this movie is that we know Malala as the Nobel Peace Prize winner and the courage she showed in standing up for her beliefs,” he said. “But this movie gives a very intimate reminder that she is still a 17-year-old girl.

“Not only do we get to know Malala, the moral force that she is, but we also see the human side of her – her interactions with her family, the way she interacts with her brother.

“It’s an incredibly powerful combination.

“She’s speaking for 66 million girls, when she is one. She is both an individual and a symbol at the same time.”

Mr Garin said about a fifth of the documentary uses animation to tell Ms Yousafzai’s story, the episodes from a time before cameras started to document her life.

“We authorised an extraordinary expense for that because we knew already that we were doing a movie about a special person and we wanted a movie that was as special as the subject,” he said.

“It’s a very significant budget for a documentary film.”

Image Nation said it could not disclose the exact figure of the film’s budget, which was co-financed by Participant Media and produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald under a partnership with Image Nation.

The film is directed by Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim, producer and director of An Inconvenient Truth.

Earlier this month Fox Searchlight Pictures, distributor of the documentary, announced that it had joined forces with the National Geographic Society for the upcoming release and the film will be shown on the National Geographic Channel in 171 countries and 45 languages.

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