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film review

An educational activist in Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai has emerged as a leading campaigner for the rights of children worldwide and in December 2014, became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Directed by Davis Guggenheim

Featuring Malala Yousafzai, Ziauddin Yousafzai

Unless living under a rock or an oppressive fundamentalist presence, one should already know about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani heroine who as a 15-year-old took a Taliban assassin's bullet to the head because of her advocacy for girls' education.

She survived, fled with her family to England, wrote a bestselling book and is that rare teenager with a Nobel Peace Prize on her bedroom shelf.

A moving, respectful documentary on her comes from the Inconvenient Truth filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, who pairs a 60 Minutes-style profile presentation with animated sequences that lend a folklore fluffiness to a narrative that focuses on Yousafzai's relationship with her father, a schoolteacher who questions his decision in dangerously allowing his daughter to be a marquee (and marque) activist.

Yousafzai struggles with her homework and is shy with boys, but is poised on the world stage. She gives nothing when the questions from Guggenheim get personal.

The result is a film more educational than engrossing; high schoolers should see it – the rest of us, maybe not.