Even when education is supposed to be free it may come with a price. I was fortunate to grow up in a place where every child was obligated to have access to free education. However, I did not realize my schooling would take a toll on me. Until my college days my school years were filled with a variety of land mines, some intended for me others just because I was the victim who happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. There were school days where I was that day’s target, where the usual bullies focused on making my life miserable. Being overweight at the time, I was an easy target for them. There were times I was smacked in the back of the head with a textbook or knocked down with a shove as I walked between classrooms; those were some of the mildest ones. I used to wonder why I was singled out but looking back now I know there were others who were going through their own misery. The few incidents where I thought I saw another student being abused, I could not figure out what we all had in common that would trigger such an attack. In the big picture the things that took place in my school years were traumatic for me and there were times I did not want to go to school. The majority of attacks took place in the school building; if I could last until the final bell and get out past the school grounds, I knew there would be a chance I would be a less likely target. This was not the case for this extraordinary teenager who was targeted for being a girl. PAKISTANI teenager Malala Yousafzai was a vocal advocate for girls’ education in a country where females were being denied the right. Her outspokenness was enough reason to be targeted for assassination by the Taliban. This film festival nominated documentary’s subject was bigger than the story. Malala is an incredible, articulate, passionate individual who would not let a bullet stop her. Directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman), I wanted to learn more than I already knew about Malala, the youngest person to ever win a Nobel prize. Sadly this movie did not provide information in a cohesive way; places and times jumped around to the point where I felt I was only getting snippets of Malala’s life, without really getting any background story. The mix of animated scenes into the dialog was understandable since they tended to depict some of the more dangerous aspects of her life. As I said earlier, she truly was bigger than what this movie was capable of showing the viewer. It was because of Malala that I was able to stay engaged and interested in what was taking place on screen.
2 3/4 stars