Malala Yousafzai has become an international household name. Beginning with her near-death at the hands of the Taliban for advocating for girls' education, Yousafzai has been interviewed by some of the most illustrious journalists, penned a book about her life, addressed world leaders at the United Nations and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, the trailer of the documentary He Named Me Malala has been released, offering a glimpse into an astonishing figure who has overcome so much at such a young age.
Set to be released in select theaters on October 2, the first trailer for the film directed by David Guggenheim cuts between scenes of Yousafzai's activism on an international stage, and her life at home with her parents and two brothers.
"There is a moment when you have to choose whether to be silent or to stand up," Yousafzai says at the beginning of the two-minute trailer. It then plays news reports about her shooting at 15 by the Taliban for advocating education for young girls and her parents reflecting on the horrifying event.
"They shot me on the left side of my head," Yousafzai is shown saying during her speech at the United Nations. "They thought that the bullet would silence us. I am the same Malala."
At 17, the young Pakistani woman has displayed a sense of courage that few of us can claim to have.
Based on the trailer, the documentary will show Yousafzai's extraordinarily courageous activism that has pushed her into the spotlight. Ultimately, she is "still an ordinary girl," she says, "but if I had an ordinary father and an ordinary mother, then I would have two children now."
Much of Yousafzai's exceptionalism is credited to her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, an education activist and a Pakistani diplomat. Yousafzai would not be where she is today without her father pushing her toward that direction.
Yet, as she says, she is only "still a teenager." In the trailer, Yousafzai giggles when someone behind the camera asks if she thinks she could ask a boy out on a date. "Roger Federer," she says shyly.
She first came to attention when her education activism provoked the ire of the Taliban. The terrorist organization outlawed educating young girls in the Swat Valley, one of its strongholds. But Yousafzai's advocacy presented a threat to them — a threat that saw them try to eliminate the then-15-year-old with a bullet to the head.
Yousafzai miraculously survived the attempted assassination and it propelled her to widespread international fame. As the face of defiance and bravery in a troubled region, Yousafzai today uses her global recognition to continue advocating for education for girls. Her nonprofit organization, The Malala Fund, aims at empowering young girls through quality secondary education.