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Desert Flower

“Desert Flower” is the true life story of a Somalian refugee-turned-supermodel-turned activist who today is known as one of the most beautiful and recognized faces in the world, as well as one of the leading spokespersons to end female genital mutilation.

Liya Kebede stars as Waris Dirie, who escapes from an arranged marriage in her small village in Somalia and winds up in London, where she is discovered by a famous fashion photographer while bussing tables in a fast food restaurant. Through a series of circumstances, the shy and deferential Waris agrees to sit for a photography session, is at once hired by one of London’s highest echelon modeling agencies, and is booked for her first runway shows, only to encounter ongoing issues with her emigration and citizenship.

The film from here chronicles Waris’ unfolding confusion at discovering that her new London girlfriends have not had to endure the horrors of genital mutilation, which ultimately leads to her decision to use her fame to help others.

Released in 2009 by National Geographic Entertainment, “Desert Flower” is easily one of the most inspiring films of this decade. The only improvement to the film would have been to offer some kind of direct call to action during the credits, as it left me wanting to know more about how I can specifically help women affected by genital mutilation. Sherry Horman directs “Desert Flower”, which is based on the novel by the same name co-written by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller. —SiriusReviews.com


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