Desert Flower
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A woman who achieves stardom against all odds uses her celebrity to make a difference in the land she left behind in this drama based on a true story. Waris Dirie (Liya Kebede) was born in Somalia, where she was one of a dozen children raised by a family of travelers. Waris grew up poor, and at the age of five, like many girls in East Africa, she was the victim of genital mutilation, a practice performed by Muslims in the belief it will insure that the girls will remain "true virgins." At 13, Waris' family sold her to an elderly man, but rather than live under his tyranny, she… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Written and directed by German filmmaker Sherry Hormann, it works as well as it does because of the performances she's drawn from a solid cast."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"The broad comedy clashes with the movie's final message."
‑ Mark Jenkins, NPR
"This inspiring story of a nomad-turned-model is executed in the style of a made-for-TV movie."
‑ Sarah Sluis, Film Journal International
"A gripping, if uneven, cinematic journey."
‑ Richard Mowe, Boxoffice Magazine
"'Desert Flower' is a superbly told story with unapologetic conviction, noticeable fire, and the purest intentions of moving your soul. The first must-see movie of the year."
‑ Clay Cane, BET.com
"It has a compelling message and surrounds it with biopic scenes that appear to be brought in from a different kind of movie. The effect is rather unsettling."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
""Desert Flower," a well-made film that depicts the remarkable life of the model Waris Dirie, manages to be both a classic feel-good story and about as far from a feel-good story as you can get."
‑ Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
"Mature biopic has moving drama but lacks coherence."
‑ S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
"The film's unabashed willingness to go from bleak topical piece on genital mutilation to guilty-pleasure glamour can be disconcerting."
‑ Diego Costa, Slant Magazine
"Desert Flower is just like Pretty Woman, if Pretty Woman were also about genital mutilation in Somalia (which I believe it originally was)."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"Waris Dirie is an inspiration, inside and out, and so is this movie."
‑ Rex Reed, New York Observer
"Good idea, mediocre presentation."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Waris' saga is one that needs to be told, but this well-meaning dramatization might have had more power if it were a documentary."
‑ Marc Mohan, Oregonian
"A stirring story that mixes personal horror, courage and eventually triumph."
‑ Pete Hammond, Back Stage
"A beautiful model bears eloquent witness to the butchery of female circumcision."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
More reviews for Desert Flower on Rotten Tomatoes

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