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Desert Flower [Blu-ray] (2011)

Timothy Spall , Liya Kebede , Sherry Hormann  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Spall, Liya Kebede, Sally Hawkins, Juliet Stevenson, Craig Parkinson
  • Directors: Sherry Hormann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 19, 2011
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004Z6N7SM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,876 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Her story touched the hearts of millions: Waris Dirie's book DESERT FLOWER, which recounts her incredible journey from an African nomad to an international top model, became a worldwide bestseller with more than 11 million copies sold. This is the inspiring story of an extraordinary, proud and brave woman. Director and screenwriter Sherry Hormann (Father's Day) and producer and Oscar ® winner Peter Herrmann (Nowhere In Africa) have adapted Dirie's autobiography for the screen: a modern fairy tale of dazzling glamour and archaic rituals, full of vitality, emotional depth and enormous compassion. Top model and actress Liya Kebede shines in the main role alongside an ensemble of brilliant actors including Silver Bear and Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, Secrets and Lies), Craig Parkinson (Control), Juliet Stevenson (Bend It Like Beckham), Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, 8 Mile) and Meera Syal (Scoop).

About the Actor

International supermodel, actress and philanthropist Liya Kebede stars in the title role of Sherry Hormann's DESERT FLOWER. Her past film credits include Andrew Niccol's Lord of War, starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Moynahan (2006), and in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd, starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie (2007).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Occasionally fumbles its potent source material July 21, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
Judge Clark Douglas, DVD Verdict-- The story of Waris Dirie presented in this film is both true and extraordinary. However, an extraordinary true story does not always produce an extraordinary film. Desert Flower comes close at times, but continually finds ways to undercut itself. There are scenes of intense emotional power and unflinching reality presented in the film, but they sit uncomfortably alongside scenes of biopic convention and unpersuasive fairy tale sentiment.

While I think it's important to avoid the distinction between scenes containing intense content and scenes that are actually high-caliber, Desert Flower's strongest moments are indeed its bleakest. The scenes that will remain in the memory long after the film concludes are those dealing with Waris' circumcision, particularly an excruciating sequence in which we watch her 3-year-old face as the procedure is performed. It's an angry, damning indictment of a barbaric process. Another painful yet tender moment occurs between Kebede and Hawkins, as the latter begins to realize what has been done to the former. These are scenes that tower above some of tiresome trivialities the film engages in during its weaker moments.

So, the subject matter is there and the cast delivers. What Desert Flower needed was a steadier hand at the wheel.

Desert Flower arrives on hi-def sporting a very attractive 1080p/1.85:1 transfer. The level of detail is spectacular throughout, flesh tones are warm and natural and the film's barren African locations look visually stunning and yet forbidding (the London locations are a bit less striking, but the marvelously expressive faces of actors like Spall and Hawkins are enough to compensate for that).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
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).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!!!!!! June 17, 2011
By Laura
Format:DVD
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!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overcoming Obstacles March 19, 2012
Format:DVD
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 Estée 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.
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