Jul 6, 2012

Desert Flower: The Story Of Waris Dirie

Every once in a while, you come across a film that moves you. Last night I watched Desert Flower, a movie about the life of super model Waris Dirie, and I was touched. A lot of times people think of models as these brainless blank canvases, but a lot of them have stories that would blow your minds. Liya Kebede plays Waris; Waris means "Desert Flower", hence the name of the movie. I really like Liya as a model but she did a FANTASTIC job in this film, I never even knew she could act!

Click Read More to see the movie trailer plus a few pics of the two women and my summary...

After being told she would marry a man decades older that her, the 13 yr old Waris flees her home in the deserts of Somalia. Traveling alone; Waris suffers heat exhaustion, hunger, rape and more, eventually finding herself in Mogadishu (home of her grandmother) and then the UK. She spent six years as a house maid in the Somalian embassy house, until a Coup back home recalled all Somalian diplomats; that included Waris and she was NOT having that.
Waris Dirie and Liya Kebede

She ran away from the embassy and the shy young woman bravely assimilated to London culture when she made a random but amazingly loyal friend, Marilyn (played by Sally Hawkins)... who thought she was a shoplifter at first. She had her ups and downs while becoming a woman in London (including a deportation scare and brief staged marriage) but she was determined to create a better life for herself.
Liya and Sally as Waris and Marilyn

One of my favorite scenes is when Waris deals with the realization and pain of understanding that she suffered from the practice of female genital mutilation. The hardest thing to see and hear was the "actual" ritual scene; she was 3 years old when they performed the mutilation. That is, as she describes, the day that changed her life. Although she survived mutilation, her two sisters didn't.
One of the pictures that catapulted Waris Dire's career in 1987

Even though she had a difficult past, Waris Dirie became one of the worlds top supermodels, gracing the covers of Vogue, Harpers Baazar, Elle, Glamour and more. She also became a passionate UN special ambassador for female genital mutilation. She was the first woman to publicly speak out against it and since then, female circumcision had been forbidden in many countries... despite this fact, the ritual is still practiced to this day.
I can see why they chose Liya, she could be Waris' daughter!

Waris Dirie and Liya Kebede for H&M

If you like docu-movies, you'll love this. It's really an amazing story! I never knew who Waris Dirie was, but i'm so happy I know now. She is a voice for so many women like her.

What do you guys think?



  1. Good review! I usually shy away from movies that evoke tears, lol. However, this story interests me so I may just have to suck it up. Gorgeous photos!

  2. She's great, as is the movie! Thnx for your comment! Funny you used the same shorts, I think they are absolutely fabulous!

    Have a nice day, xoxo lorena


  3. I love your blog! I'm following u now! I really like that you post about a wide range of things and I'm definitely going to try to find a way to watch this movie! I love Liya she is sooo gorgeous!

    Keep the great posts coming!


  4. I read the book and LOVED it. I've never come across anywhere showing the film yet.

  5. This seems like a WONDERFUL movie. What a wonderful woman. She reminds me of Ayan Hirsi Ali, who had a similar path (she became a politician, not a model though). I really wish to see it.



  6. Beautiful women here! Thanks you for your lovely comment dear!!

    Much Love, ThePeppyMay

  7. I have to watch this, I really like docu-movies. Both ladies are gorgeous!!!

    Carsedra of:



  8. love everything!

    Visit my blog? xx Miss Beatrix (http://missbeatrix.blogspot.com)

  9. Wow! I did not know her story, but very interested! A strong woman and full of personality, beautiful! I loved and surely I will attend this movie. Great post! kisses and a great weekend!
    Vv Becker

  10. Never saw this movie , gonna have to add it to my list of films to check out.
    Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  11. Beautiful ladies. I will definitely check this out. My sister in law
    is from Somalia and I've often wondered if she suffered through
    female circumcision.


  12. it seems a very good movie, I will watch it! She is a gorgeous and avery strong woman!
    Thanks to advice this movie!



  13. Hey, love your blog, wanna follow each other?!"

    hahah, just making fun :)
    I consider myself a movieaholic, and I hhave never seen this movie!
    shame on me!!!! seems great, can't wait to watch it :)


  14. What a woman!! Such a horrific thing to go through, but she came out shining and can be a source of light to others. Never seen this movie, will have to for sure!! Thank you for visiting me!! Have a sweet week :) x

  15. hi! love your blog! I hope we can follow each others blog..let me know...I'd really be glad ;-) keep in touch :-)

  16. Sounds like a very inspiring film. Waris's story is so moving. You hav to stand up for what's right.

  17. Hey Sherine, thanks so much for stopping by lovely!

    Wow, I have never heard of this movie/doc so thanks for introducing this to us... will have to check it out! Good for Waris for speaking out, she sounds like a force to be reckoned with!

  18. I read the book first and then watched the movie so I suggest other people do it too...the movie misses so much to the actual story and some movie facts are not correct (but changed for the purpose of the movie).


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