Release date:March 18, 2011
Studio:National Geographic Entertainment
Screenwriters:Sherry Horman, Smita Bhide
Starring:Liya Kebede, Sally Hawkins, Craig Parkinson, Meera Syal, Anthony Mackie, Juliet Stevenson, Timothy Spall
Based on the international best-selling novel of the same name by Waris Dirie, "Desert Flower" tells Dirie's amazing, heartbreaking, and inspirational story from a nomadic goat-herding family to one of the world's most sought after supermodels and then to a United Nations Spokeswoman. Born into poverty in Somalia, Dirie at age 13 fled her impending forced marriage by walking days across the Northeast African desert to Somalia's capital where her relatives aided her escape by putting her on a plane to London. There, arose her fear of returning home this time to a war-torn Somalia when the Embassy she worked as a maid was shutting down. So Dirie, homeless and illiterate, takes a job at a fast-food restaurant where she is discovered one day by modeling, star photographer, Terry Donaldson. After her rise to fame, and ever burdened by a violent, childhood secret, she gave an interview in which she spoke of her female genital mutilation (FGM) at the age of five. Her openness unleashed a wave of sympathy and controversy in which she decided to dedicate her life fighting against and educating about this horrifying practice. Now a United Nations Spokeswoman against FGM, Waris Dirie travels the world to speak out against this brutal and often life-threatening practice, ensuring autonomy for young women and girls all over the world. Her books "Desert Flower," "Desert Dawn," "Desert Children" and "Letter To My Mother" became international bestsellers.