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 circumcision.
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This review is from: Desert Flower (DVD) I can't really tell if the DVD I just bought is OK or not!You couldn't send it to Mexico and the product is still in CA.
In life (I'm 68) there are only a few films that really 'cut into yoursoul and plant themselves'. Most of the ones that do this to me arereal-life stories.Gandhi,Lawrence of Arabia, one of the early Titanicfilms (I was about 9 years old I think). Desert Flower,for all it'sminor failings as a film (I stress minor) planted itself firmly in myheart and will not depart. It shames my manhood (in a good way). Itdemands of me a greater tolerance of others and a resistance tomethodologies/traditions that limit the full potential of another humanbeing.. It tells an incredible story of an incredible woman with anincredible spirit. . Unimaginably important viewing.
This review is from: Desert Flower (DVD) I have read all of the Waris Dirie books. Her first, Desert Flower, had me enthralled, emotional and amazed that young girls are mutilated in this tragic manner, then and now. Waris is a strong willed young girl who refuses to enter into an arranged marriage with a man 40-50 years older than her and so runs away from her nomad family in the dark of night across the harsh desserts of the Sudan. She finally makes it to her Grandmother's home in Mogadishu who then sends her to work in the Sudanese London Embassy as a house maid. The Revolution happens and the Embassy closes leaving Waris with nobody to care for her, no grasp of the English language and no money but still with her cherished passport. She befriends a shop assistant who reluctantly offers her a place to stay, temporarily ! They become best friends and as her true internal and external beauty becomes evident she is discovered by a fashion photographer and despite several hurdles, fame, fortune and recognition are hers. Waris now uses that recognition to make the world aware of the mutilation that still occurs today, all over the world, in the name of religion and to keep girls and women objects that men own. The movie is a close adaptation of the book, and as I watched the same emotions washed over me and tears rolled down my face. I thoroughly recommend you read the book, watch the movie and then read the other two books that follow Desert Flower. We should all do whatever we can to support the abolition of the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation.
This review is from: Desert Flower (DVD) This is a wonderful movie from technical standpoint, but the subject is gruesome albeit true. The mutulated women makes such a success of herself she is truely inspirational. A story that should be seen.
OMG I saw the PREVIEW in PARIS can't wait to see it LIYA KEBEDE looks AMAZING so to see what she has been thru its BREATH TAKING the MOVIE comes out MARCH 20 in PARIS I cant wait to see it
This most excellent film tells the story of Waris Dirie, a very brave, clever and stunningly beautiful woman from Somalia, who rose from most humble origins to become a top model, a UN ambassador and a famous human rights activist.Waris Dirie was born in a family of nomads in Somalia, probably in 1965. At the age of 3 she was victim of female genital mutilation (FGM) a barbarian practice still widespread in many countries in Northern and Eastern Africa. At age 13 she was given in marriage to a 60 years old neighbor - refusing this match she escaped and walked for nine days through the desert until she reached the house of her grandmother in Mogadishu. Rejected by her parents, she was ultimately send as a maid (in fact a slave) for the family of a Somali diplomat living in London. Very badly treated and working only for food, shelter and some old clothes she spend there six years almost never leaving the embassy and not even allowed to watch TV. When in 1985 the family she worked for had to leave Great Britain, she stayed behind, as homeless illegal immigrant. She finally managed to find a janitorial job in a McDonalds and it was there than in 1986 a famous photograph Terence Donovan discovered her, when she was cleaning the floor next to his table...What followed was a great career of top model, a couple of small movie roles (including in a James Bond movie), the writing of a bestselling autobiography and finally the launching of the first worldwide campaign against female genital mutilation (FGM), a barbarian custom NOT LINKED with any religion, which probably originated in Ancient Egypt at least 3000 years ago, long before the appearance of both Christianism and Islam (and maybe even predating Judaism). This horror is still practiced today in at least 28 states, most of them situated in Northern and Eastern Africa but also in Yemen and Indonesia. Waris Dirie campaign helped however to start a movement towards the decline and disappearance of FGM.Today, retired from modelling, mother of two sons, Waris Dirie lives most of the time in Austria and still fights against FGM."Desert flower" is a very well done, very realistic and very touching story of her life. Although ultimately very optimistic, this film contains also some scenes which I found harder to watch than most of the horror movies I ever saw... Brace yourself for very hard moments.In this film the main role is played by an Ethopian top model/actress, Liya Kebede, and she does an excellent job! A child actress, Soraya Omar Scego, plays Waris when she was 13 - and she is even more amazing!I watched this film with fascination and I was greatly touched by it. I recommend it warmly and I really believe it should be more known around the world.
This film is an emotionally powerful film with memorable scenes thatare extremely moving. It has the same elements that most Oscar winningmovies have in that you feel real joy and pain. It's a shame this filmdidn't make more money than it did. It appears that it was basicallyset aside and not distributed like it should have been.The character development of Waris is spot on. The back story in Africais also effective in getting a glimpse of the complexity of issues andvarious injustices a young refugee girl like Waris deals with. Thescenes in Africa are also beautiful cinematically.There are a couple technical moments that could have been better thatjust reflect the budget it had to work with. IE the obvious greenscreen in front of the United Nations General Assembly and the ads ofWaris on the sides of the buildings in Central London.Somalia has faced unspeakable challenges in the last 25 years. Theresult of this is the suffering of regular people who have been caughtin the crossfire. There are countless stories from Somalia that need tobe told on the screen to bring awareness to this part of the world.Matt Erickson Poet Nation
A moving & powerful story of perseverance & courage. Despite centuries-old tradition, young Waris refuses marriage to a much older man. She makes the arduous journey alone, through the desert to her grandmother in Mogadishu. Civil war in Somalia leads her to London. While living with diplomatic relatives, she is a maid - treated with disdain. Diplomatic relations b/w the UK & Somalia end. Waris is left in London, alone, destitute, without a good grasp of the language. She learns how to live on the streets. Eventually she befriends Marilyn; later the photographer, Terry Donaldson. Her life now moves upward, in fairytale fashion. She becomes an international supermodel. She uses her fame to bring worldwide attention to female mutilation for the first time, eventually becoming the UN spokesperson for this cause.The film also calls attention to adversities women in Waris' culture face daily. Her mother is beaten by her father for letting Waris leave before her wedding. Yet, she lets Waris go because she knows it gives her daughter a chance for a better life. When Waris tells the story of her "circumcision", the wide-angle scene shot and narration are particularly poignant. Her mother had to return to home to care for her other children, leaving toddler Waris alone in the wild. Part of this may have been exaggerated for the screen but can women in the West even conceive of having to make decisions like that??Liya Kebede gives a great performance as adult Waris. She projects Waris' innocence and indomitable spirit. Fine performances from Soraya Omar-Scego as young Waris, and Sally Hawkins as Marilyn. Excellent cinematography captures grand landscapes of Africa & London, and more intimate portrait shots.This film inspires due to the perseverance of its title character and the courage of the women she represents. It also opens our eyes to much larger global issues. Well worth watching, at least once if not several times.
This review is from: Desert Flower (DVD) Beautiful true story of struggle and remption. Thought provoking about events around the world that need to be given the proper attention and care. Wonderful story attesting to the power of genuine, honest relationships that cross all boundaries.
This review is from: Desert Flower (DVD) I was unaware of these conditions. This movie should be shown to young women all over the world, so that they will be educated on the practices
When a friend of mine suggested watching "Desert Flower", immediatelymy thought was of a Romantic Comedy of sorts. It was not thought of asa Drama or a Comedy, nor was it ever thought of as anything like thefilm that we sat down to view.The story revolves around that of Warris (Liya Kebede) who, from thesandy deserts of Somalia, arrives in England. Mixed with the short miniflashbacks of Warris's life before coming to the UK, they show theeventual story and reasons surrounding her presence. With little leftto the imagination for the viewer, Desert Flower leaves nothing shortof a very educational story of a Somali woman coping with the taboosubject of female circumcising.As this truly is an autobiographical journey of Warris Dirie, manypeople will find that much of the film is filled with emphasis on abuseÂ and that is the term that I would use in all manner of the word andexpression Â as the depiction of the young woman's life is put throughsheer hell. With the help of her friends, however, Marylin and Terry,the journey becomes possibly less raw and more tolerable for living asnormal as anyone who has witnessed all that Warris has.Desert Rose is absolutely riveting viewing for those who find theirTrue Stories more appealing than Fiction and Fantasy, of which there isnone of that within the scenes of this movie. We believe that maybe"Desert Flower" has broken ground in every possible place concerningthe subject matter that it exposes the viewer to, not to mention awardwinning for the strength, fight and progress in the approach to theUnited Nations concerning the inhuman suffering that other countrywomen like Warris have and are still going through.Timothy Spall playing his top modelling photography character acts outhis parts with excellence, as does the sometimes hard faced Lucinda whois played by Juliet Stevenson. Combining the world of fashion and reallife together, the overall and sometimes harrowing parts of a torturedlife brings the viewer ever closer to the point where they will shout,cringe or even remark loudly on such treatment that Warris goes throughfrom a young age. If the viewer can get past the point of her SomaliaCulture Tradition of young girls, then what they will find is a welcomesigh of relief as to the outcome.DVD Archive Rating: 10/10 (Top marks for a truly great directed factualbased film)
The movie is touching in many ways. I think the story line is good along with acting. Recommmend watching it.
I watched this movie online on youtube b/c it was a foreign movie and not released yet in the USA and I read the book. It was awesome!! It will probably be removed off youtube soon b/c its coming to the USA. It was all in english and was released in germany and britian I think in 2009. Anyways it was a really good movie that everyone should watch so they can understand how other cultures treat their woman. This movie was crazy! I loved it!! Watch this movie and you will see. I don't want to tell about the movie b/c it would ruin it. I suggest youu pre-order this movie. Im going to get it too!!
[The following review contains minor spoilers.]"Desert Flower" is a cinematic adaptation of an autobiography of the same name by Waris Dirie, a Somali model-turned-human rights activist. To escape an arranged marriage, 13-year-old Waris Dirie runs away from her mother's home. She eventually moves to London, where she is spotted by a photographer Terence Donovan. Waris Dirie has been also active in raising awareness about FGM or female genital mutilation, which she herself underwent as a child.The bio-pic film starts with Waris Dirie (Liya Kebede), a Somali immigrant living on the street of London, who is mistaken for a shoplifter by a shop clerk and aspiring dancer Marylin (played by Sally Hawkins). Marylin reluctantly invites Waris to stay with her. They eventually become friends, and while mopping floors at a fast-food restaurant, Waris is asked by a fashion photographer Terry Donaldson (played by Timothy Spall) to pose for the camera.While the main storyline follows the story of Waris Darie in London, who succeeds as a supermodel (after a few setbacks), Waris's life in Africa is recounted in several flashbacks. The African part of the story is beautifully shot, but lacks a narrative flow, being frequently interrupted by the rag-to-rich story. Strangely "Desert Flower" does not give us some details as to how she managed to reach Mogadishu, and then London. The film avoids graphic descriptions, but its message against FGM (or FGC) is strong, and some scenes at the second half of the film might be disturbing to some viewers. "Desert Flower" benefits from a compelling performance from Ethiopian model Liya Kebede as Waris Dirie, who flees her homeland and finds herself thrown into a totally different environment. German filmmaker Sherry Hormann handles the material with confidence, and the main story concerning Waris Dirie remains strong throughout, but it is undermined by unnecessary subplots (Anthony Mackie's romantic interest, for example), and some of the supporting characters (the exaggerated portrayal of Juliet Stevenson's modeling agent that belongs to somewhere else).I find "Desert Flower" absorbing overall, but its narrative is uneven, and while watching it, I could not help feeling that there could be a better film buried here.
DESERT FLOWER is a very powerful film that introduces many viewers to the atrocities of Female Genital Mutilation, defined by the dictionary as 'FGM, also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is defined as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM is typically carried out on girls from a few days old to puberty. It may take place in a hospital, but is usually performed, without anesthesia, by a traditional circumciser using a knife, razor, or scissors.' Though that is not the main driver of this story it certainly makes the life of Waris Dirie who wrote this autobiography recognized as someone who overcame insurmountable odds to become one the world's top models and a speaker for women's rights.Liya Kebede stars as Waris Darie and is the perfect choice of an actress to fill this role: she is an International supermodel, actress and philanthropist, born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 2003, she was the first woman of color to become the face of EstÃ©e Lauder cosmetics.Waris Dirie (Liya Kebede) was born in Somalia and was subjected to FGM and fled across the desert to freedom form the heinous attitude toward women (Waris as a child is beautifully portrayed by Soraya Omar-Scego). She struggles though dreary jobs, eventually hooks up with Marilyn (Sally Hawkins0 who introduces her to the world of fashion via Terry Donaldson (Timothy Spall), learns how to dress and walk in heels and eventually becomes the great model we know us as today. She has love interests (Anthony Mackie) but her aim is to gain enough credibility and money to go before the WHO and speak aginst the mutilation that exists in many countries to this day.Directed by Sherry Horman who adapted Dirie's autobiography for the screen with Smita Bhide, the visuals are spectacular and the manner in which the story is related is full of passion and compassion. The entire cast (including Juliet Stevenson, Meera Syal, and Craig Parkinson) is pitch perfect. But it is Liya Kebede who fills the screen not only with her beauty but also with a powerful performance of the main character. A very fine film with a heavy message. Grady Harp, March 12
In UN Waris said... In our country we have a proverb "The last camel in the line walks as quickly as the first. What ever happens to the least of us has an effect on all of us."Some 150 million women and girls as young as three year old around the world have experienced the procedure called Female genital mutilation (FGM)plus some 8,000 more a day, every single day. Waris Dirie is the chosen one to speak for all those who can not speak about FGM. How Waris survived an unbelievable punishment and journey to get where she is and proudly speak as a woman, is nothing short of magical. Wish Waris health and happiness. Bravo, bravo, bravo.
This movie is one of the few movies that made a huge impression on mein all aspects! It's about one of the biggest world problems thatunfortunately is not shown to a wide public. It's not a usual storylinewith famous Hollywood actors, movies of which usually have entertainingcharacter. This movie is for intelligent audience, who wants to knowabout world problems and develop themselves as humans, in order tounderstand many things that happen in this world. The storyline of thismovie is very emotional, honest, without any special effects etc. Itshows the reality side of some society, whose women suffer from stupidtraditions. And because of which a lot of women do not develop as womenand suffer in this world.
"Desert Flower" is based on the life of Waris Dirie (Liya Kebede) whowas born into a Somalian desert tribe, then ran away from an arrangedmarriage as a young teen and made her way to London, where she became aworld-famous supermodel. As a child, she was circumcised, as is thecustom in many African countries. An old woman in the desert cut awaythose parts that could someday allow her to feel sexual pleasure.When Waris was sold as a young teenager to an old man who already hadthree wives, she simply left one day, walking hundreds of miles acrossdesert and scrub land to seek her grandmother in Mogadishu. Amazingly,she found her Â and was hired by an aunt in London to work as a maid.The film cuts between her experiences as a young girl and what happenedin London, where she ran away, lived on the streets and were befriendedby a ditz shop girl named Marylin (Sally Hawkins).It is while sweeping floors and cleaning slop at a McDonalds that she'sspotted by fashion photographer Terry Donaldson (Timoty Spell).Donaldson saw something in the bone structure of the cleaning lady thatconvinced him to give her his card. Waris was all worried trying to bemodel, but thankfully Marylin knows her fashion and persuades her,several months later, to pop round and see him. She's soon on her way."Desert Flower" is an important movie, and a great one for all Africanwomen to see. Dirie's life-story is inspiring for me, her experiencesas young girl are tragic, and her ability to speak out against a customthat has long been hidden is impressive. The film certainly has animportant message. The scenes that will remain in the memory long afterthe film concludes are those dealing with Waris' circumcision,particularly an excruciating sequence in which I watch her three yearold face as the procedure is performed. It's an angry, damningindictment of a barbaric process. Which I wish it will stop.
It was an okay movie. I kept crying throughout the movie and the circumcision scene of the three year old in the movie was unneccessary. I cry for these babies.
This movie profiles the life of model Waris Dirie. She was born in Somalia and lived a nomadic life in the desert. The custom over there is to mutilate a girl's genitalia at an early age to make them "pure". Many of the girls (including her sister) don't even survive this assault due to hemorrhage or infection.Her mother tried to marry her off (as a 4th wife) to an old man when she was only 13. She escaped her village and managed to get a job at the Somali Embassy in London, where some wealthy relatives lived. After the war broke out in Somalia, the embassy closed. She didn't want to go back so she lived on the streets as an illegal while working at a McDonalds.It was there that she was discovered by famous photographer Terence Donovan in the mid 80s. She goes on to became a successful model but the real story is about her crusade to help end female circumcision. She eventually quit her career to become a UN Ambassador to help end this barbaric practice. This movie definitely made an impact on me and I'm glad I'm a US citizen!