When asked what similarities he shared with Malala, Guggenheim could not really find anything about them that was similar, but he could find many differences. He touched in the point that Malala has this strong sense of purpose at such a young age that he did no get until he was in his forties. He mentioned that in his twenties, he was lost, and that by his thirties he was starting to get his life together, and that by his forties, he began to make films that he thought had a sense of meaning to them; where his work had a purpose. He told us, “You feel so lucky to have work that is meaningful,” and he thinks that it is incredible that Malala has this at such a young age. However, he did mention that unlike Malala, he had the gift of a normal childhood, and actually getting to be a teenager, and being able to mess up without anyone really noticing, while Malala has the world watching her.

Education gave her liberation...

When asked if he thinks that the problems with the Taliban and other groups in Pakistan will ever be solved, Guggenheim had a strong answer. He said that in our comfortable world, it is easy for us to think that it will never change, and that these bad guys will always win. He said this is such a small group of bad people that has become powerful because there are not very many leaders. He told us he believes the only way to solve this is to educate girls. He told us that like climate change, there are few solutions, or silver bullets that will solve everything.  “Education is that silver bullet here,” he stated. He gave Malala as an example. Had she not received an education, she would most likely now be married, have children, and be doing hard labor; all of the change she has made would not exist. “Education gave her liberation,” Guggenheim told us. He has a strong belief that when you educate a girl, everything changes. He told us: “Once a girl’s educated, she knows what her rights are, and once that happens, everything changes.”   

Toward the end of the interview, Guggenheim revealed one last thing about the his ideas behind the creation of this film. He told us, “My first instinct about this when I made this film was that I wanted girls to feel like this was their movie.” We wanted girls to go and see this because it was their movie, but it is really Malala’s own story told from her perspective.

 

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