5 Reasons to Take Your Au Pair to See “He Named Me Malala”

by cv harquail on October 9, 2015

For a cultural exchange that will bring you and your au pair closer, take her (or him) to see the documentary film “He Named Me Malala”.

He Named Me Malala opens nationwide this Friday, October 9.  Here’s the link to find showings near you: http://theaters.henamedmemalalamovie.com/

5 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Au Pair to the Malala MovieMalala_LA

1. Because Malala’s story will remind you of your role as the parent and host parent of future adults, adults to whom we are entrusting the fate of our world.

You’ll be inspired to lead your children in doing hard things, good things, and the right things.

2. Because Malala’s story will remind you that every child is shaped, supported and launched by her or his family values.

You’ll want to talk with each other about what these values should be, and how you should express them in your behavior.

3. Because watching Malala’s story will give you and your au pair a chance to talk about differences in gender roles in her country, our country, and the world.

4. Because Malala’s story may not have been reported fully in your Au Pair’s home country, and it’s a story everyone should know.

5. Because you want your Au Pair — and your family — to think more globally, and to have open conversations about cultural differences and value differences. Not to mention, what’s “right” and what’s “wrong”.

(and a bonus reason:)

6. Because you want to have Malala’s story inspire your au pair to use her or his ‘life adventure’ to make a difference in this world.

I got an invitation to an early screening a few weeks ago. I took my DH and my daughters into the city with me to see the movie. I didn’t quite know how they’d react– the word “documentary” makes many teens roll their eyes. And, I wasn’t sure how interested my DH would be in the story of a teen girl revolutionary in a world that was an actual dystopia, not a sci fi one.

Even I had some hesitation– going to the film felt like a “good thing” to do, like eating kale. Nutritious, not so delicious.

In truth, I thought the film would be depressing and make me cry. After all, Malala gets shot in the face for riding a bus to school. That part I knew.

malalaWhat I didn’t know, and what the film revealed, was the relationship between Malala and her father, between Malala and her brothers, and between Malala and her mother, that made Malala’s courage and forgiving spirit possible.

I’d imagined Malala as some super-impassioned teen shot somewhat randomly. I hadn’t realized that she’d been outspoken about the need for girls education for several years before she was targeted for death, as the Taliban regime closed down her world.

In the film, Malala is revealed as a loving and gracious fighter, a product of a strong family with even stronger values, a modest spirit with serious fire, and the kind of person any parent, child or caregiver could admire.

My family and I had several deep conversations about the movie not only at dinner afterwards, but several times again over the past two weeks.

[We even made sure to watch Malala in real time on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, to see if she was still really as girlish, brave and genuine ‘in real life’ (aka on TV).]

These are not easy conversations, and they are critical ones for each family to have.

Taking your Au Pair to see “He Named Me Malala” is a relatively easy, absolutely meaningful way to exchange ideas about culture, responsibility, and family values.

If you’re wondering how to start a conversation about Malala’s story with your Au Pair and/or your kids, there’s a terrific Parent Discussion Guide that you can download. It has some great suggestions for children of every age.


He Named Me Malala opens nationwide this Friday, October 9. Here’s the link to find showings near you:
He Named Me Malala Showings

Once you’ve seen the film, come back here and add your reflections and comments.


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{ 1 comment }

GirlScoutHostMom October 9, 2015 at 12:24 pm

My daughter’s Girl Scout Troop is going to see the movie Saturday afternoon! It never occurred to me to invite our Au Pair. She’s not the most politically aware person and it might be interesting to invite her to come along with us. I’ll let you know.

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