The documentary was a disorganized series of seemingly unrelated scenes. It jumped between random events spanning from the time before the attack to Malala’s current life in England. At one time, her parents’ relationship history was also discussed, as was Malala’s social life. All of this information is interesting and could still have been included, but it looked like it was put together at random. I understand the need to change the mood of the documentary so that it does not feel like a depressing melodrama with a forced happy ending, and do not claim that the film needed to be done chronologically. But the way that Guggenheim jumped around was frustrating.
The issue in the film is neither Malala nor her family. On the contrary, the Yousafzai family was eloquent, poised, intelligent, and genuine. They were serious on the obviously more solemn issues in this film, yet affectionate and good-humored enough for the movie to be fun to watch. Each person was also fascinating in his or her own right.
Also, the illustrations used to tell the story of Malala’s namesake and to relay more violent parts of the subject were masterful. They kept the piece from being too bloody, which would have desensitized and turned off the audience altogether. Other than the Yousafzai family, these illustrations were the best part of the film.
The footage collected was quite good, and could have been better appreciated in a different order. While the documentary was still enjoyable, on a technical level this subject deserved more than what the project ultimately became.