Any film about Malala Yousafzai, the courageous Pakistani girl shot by the Taleban in 2012, would be inspiring. But, if Davis Guggenheim's documentary is anything to go by, it is possible to make one that fawns unnecessarily over its subject.
He Named Me Malala is inspired by Malala's autobiography I am Malala, and tells the story of her childhood in the Swat Valley, becoming an anonymous teenage blogger for the BBC and an activist fighting for woman's education, and her British-based life after her miraculous recovery from an assassination attempt.
The film begins with a painterly and poetic animation, telling the story of legendary Afghanistani heroine Malala, who united outnumbered Pashtun fighters in a battle against British invaders during the late 19th century. While Malala resists comparisons with this heroic tale, it's hard to ignore Guggenheim's intention to turn her into a 21st century legend.
Unable to return home, with or without a film crew, these animations continue to be used to accompany Malala's vocal recollections of life as a child, and her love of school and learning, before and after the Taleban became more prominent in the Swat Valley.
The effect is that of a calm dark fable, but, though these lengthy animations are beautifully rendered, nothing beats the teenager in person.
Watching her learn to deal with media, speak to the UN, hold court with Oprah and Obama, and discuss the abduction of 300 girls by Boko Haram with Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, it is impossible not to be amazed by her composure, articulation, charisma and wisdom.
Better still are the moments at home with her two brothers -- who steal every scene they are in -- that remind us Malala is a normal teenage girl, facing the pressure of school exams just like her peers, and with a Google search history that includes Brad Pitt, Roger Federer and Pakistani cricket players.
As the title suggests, this is also the story of Malala's father, a liberal teacher who overcame a speech impediment to become outspoken as anti-Taleban.
There's been criticism that Malala's activism is the result of her father being opportunist, but seeing her close up supports his case that he's just allowing her to be herself.
Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) shows us the numerous sides of his subject; a woman recovering from a horrific crime, a teenage girl growing up with her close-knit family, and a young woman who has become a beacon for humanity and forgiveness.
All this involves a few too many shots of his subject receiving awards and meeting famous people, however Malala Yousafzai is an extraordinary woman and, no matter how her story is presented, it's most definitely worth hearing.
Movie: He Named Me Malala
Cast: Malala Yousafzai
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Running Time: 88 mins
Rating: PG (Some scenes may disturb)
Verdict: A fawning but fascinating doco.