7.4/10
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18 user 54 critic

Desert Flower (2009)

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2:13 | Trailer

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Waris Dirie, born 1965 in Somalia, flees at 13 when sold as 4th wife. She's maid at the Somalian embassy in London, then McDonald's, where she's discovered and becomes int'l top model. 1997, she speaks up against female genital mutilation.

Director:

Sherry Hormann

Writers:

Smita Bhide (script revisions), Waris Dirie (novel) | 3 more credits »
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Soraya Omar-Scego Soraya Omar-Scego ... Young Waris
Idriss Abdillahi Houfaneh Idriss Abdillahi Houfaneh ... Old Man
Awa Saïd Darar Awa Saïd Darar ... Amina
Roun Daher Aïnan Roun Daher Aïnan ... Waris' Mother
Osman Aden Dalieg Osman Aden Dalieg ... Waris' Father
Liya Kebede ... Waris Dirie
Sally Hawkins ... Marilyn
Meera Syal ... Pushpa Patel
Anna Hilgedieck Anna Hilgedieck ... Girl in Shower
Lucrezia Phantazia Lucrezia Phantazia ... Girl in Boardinghouse
Craig Parkinson ... Neil
Matthew Alexander Kaufman Matthew Alexander Kaufman ... Fastfood Manager (as Matt Kaufman)
Timothy Spall ... Terry Donaldson
Prashant Prabhakar ... Kami
Anthony Mackie ... Harold Jackson
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Storyline

The autobiography of a Somalian nomad circumcised at 3, sold in marriage at 13, fled from Africa a while later to become finally an American supermodel and is now at the age of 38, the UN spokeswoman against female genital mutilation (FGM). Written by Athina-90

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The extraordinary true story of the woman who crossed the desert and changed the world.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violent content, a scene of sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | Austria | France

Language:

English | Somali | French

Release Date:

24 September 2009 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Fleur du désert See more »

Filming Locations:

Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,657, 20 March 2011

Gross USA:

$44,348
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Color (35 mm version)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Safa Idriss Nour, who plays 3 year-old Waris, is the subject of Ms. Dirie's most recent book Saving Safa: Rescuing a Little Girl from FGM. See more »

Goofs

Lucinda (from the modeling agency) says to Waris she would be without broadband in Africa. Broadband didn't exist in the early to mid 80s when this story took place. See more »

Connections

Referenced in RTL Boulevard: Episode #11.70 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Stranger In This Land
Music and Lyrics by Joy Denalane, Max Herre and Sekou A. Neblett (as Sekou Neblett)
Performed by Joy Denalane
Produced by Max Herre
Courtesy of Nesola GmbH, Four Music Productions GmbH and Sony Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is a moving film which should have been more widely distributed
19 December 2011 | by merickson777See all my reviews

This film is an emotionally powerful film with memorable scenes that are extremely moving. It has the same elements that most Oscar winning movies have in that you feel real joy and pain. It's a shame this film didn't make more money than it did. It appears that it was basically set aside and not distributed like it should have been.

The character development of Waris is spot on. The back story in Africa is also effective in getting a glimpse of the complexity of issues and various injustices a young refugee girl like Waris deals with. The scenes in Africa are also beautiful cinematically.

There are a couple technical moments that could have been better that just reflect the budget it had to work with. IE the obvious green screen in front of the United Nations General Assembly and the ads of Waris on the sides of the buildings in Central London.

Somalia has faced unspeakable challenges in the last 25 years. The result of this is the suffering of regular people who have been caught in the crossfire. There are countless stories from Somalia that need to be told on the screen to bring awareness to this part of the world.

Matt Erickson Poet Nation


26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 18 user reviews »

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