|Waris Dirie with Sherry Hormann|
Movie Review: Desert Flower
Released in 2009, directed by Sherry Hormann. Based on the real life story of Waris Dirie, Somali-born top model and UN-special ambassador against FGM.
The first time I read about Waris Dirie was in Reader’s Digest magazine many years ago before they released the movie. A life of pain to liberation, from weakness to strength and hope for thousands of women. FGM- Female genital mutilation…just freaks me out to even imagine…well, she was just 3 years old when she went through that horror but she survived and is now working actively to abolish it.
|Liya as Waris|
Liya Kebede, Ethiopian supermodel, plays the role of Waris in the movie and she does justice to the character. The movie begins with young Waris (13 yrs old) looking after her family’s goats in an isolated, dry, barren desert area of Somalia-her normal chore. One day she is introduced to a man-old enough to be her grandfather! - And told she has to marry him!from here, her journey begins…she crosses the harsh desert barefoot for two days to reach her aunt’s home in the city who helps her to escape to London. While working at a local McDonald’s to make ends meet, she gets discovered by a renowned photographer Terence Donovan who helps to launch her career as a model initially. From the middle part of the movie we see her modeling career taking off rapidly, walking the ramp for top designers like Chanel, L’Oreal, Levi’s and Revlon and on the runways of London, Milan, Paris and New York City…Ah!! Bellissima...Loved this part!!
Okay, aside from her glamorous life as a top model, we move to the important part of her life which is truly inspiring…when she is interviewed by Marie Claire magazine and asked to “Tell about the day that changed your life” when she was first discovered by Donovan…she replies ‘’that was not the Day that changed my life”…she then narrates her story…3 yrs old and forced to undergo mutilation. The movie ends with her speaking to packed UN representatives who are all moved to tears by her story.
That was the movie…it does have a happy ending in a way…love, admire the courage and bravery of Waris Dirie!! She’s on my top list of ‘Amazing Women’!! Wrote to her after I watched the movie and she replied…so excited!! Hopefully, I am going to meet her someday…wish lists!
Love…CZ : )!
Pic Courtesy: zimbio.com, sofeminine.co.uk and Desert Flower movie.