Filmmaker: Adam Ellick
On October 9, 2012, masked gunmen ambushed a van carrying schoolgirls home in Pakistan's Swat Valley. They shot 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai at point blank range in the head and neck leaving her in critical condition.
The Taliban in Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack and vowed to "finish the chapter" in Malala's story.
Bringing an end to education for girls has long been one of their goals. The young activist was only 11 when she first stood up to the Taliban and despite numerous threats she continued to speak out against them.
This documentary filmed in 2009 follows the journey of Malala and her father as the deteriorating security situation forces them to leave not just their home in Swat Valley but their life's passion.
Due to the Taliban restrictions on education for girls, Malala is stripped of her education and her father loses his livelihood – he runs a well-respected girls' school.
Filmmaker Adam Ellick travels with the family as they flee Swat and try to find safety. And he is still filming with them when the situation improves after a major assault by the Pakistani army and they are able to return – not knowing what they will find.
Through the eyes of this articulate and engaging schoolgirl we see the devastation wrought on schools, towns and people alike by the struggle for the souls of the people of the Swat Valley.
This episode of Witness first aired in 2010.