Director: Sherry Horman
Writer: Sherry Horman and Warris Dirie (Novel)
Cast: Liya Kebede (Warris Dirie), Sally Hawkins (Marylin), Craig Parkinson (Neil), Meera Syal (Pushpa Patel), Anthony Mackie (Harold Jackson), Juliet Stevenson (Lucinda) and Timothy Spall (Terry Donaldson) – Soraya Omar-Scega (Warris aged 12).
Review: When a friend of mine suggested watching “Desert Flower”, immediately my thought was of a Romantic Comedy of sorts. It was not thought of as a Drama or a Comedy, nor was it ever thought of as anything like the film that we sat down to view.
The story revolves around that of Warris (Liya Kebede) who, from the sandy deserts of Somalia, arrives in England. Mixed with the short mini flashbacks of Warris’s life before coming to the UK, they show the eventual story and reasons surrounding her presence. With little left to the imagination for the viewer, Desert Flower leaves nothing short of a very educational story of a Somali woman coping with the taboo subject of female circumcising.
As this truly is an autobiographical journey of Warris Dirie, many people will find that much of the film is filled with emphasis on abuse – and that is the term that I would use in all manner of the word and expression – as the depiction of the young woman’s life is put through sheer hell. With the help of her friends, however, Marylin and Terry, the journey becomes possibly less raw and more tolerable for living as normal as anyone who has witnessed all that Warris has.
Desert Rose is absolutely riveting viewing for those who find their True Stories more appealing than Fiction and Fantasy, of which there is none of that within the scenes of this movie. We believe that maybe “Desert Flower” has broken ground in every possible place concerning the subject matter that it exposes the viewer to, not to mention award winning for the strength, fight and progress in the approach to the United Nations concerning the inhuman suffering that other country women like Warris have and are still going through.
Timothy Spall playing his top modelling photography character acts out his parts with excellence, as does the sometimes hard faced Lucinda who is played by Juliet Stevenson. Combining the world of fashion and real life together, the overall and sometimes harrowing parts of a tortured life brings the viewer ever closer to the point where they will shout, cringe or even remark loudly on such treatment that Warris goes through from a young age. If the viewer can get past the point of her Somalia Culture Tradition of young girls, then what they will find is a welcome sigh of relief as to the outcome.
DVD Archive Rating: 10/10 (Top marks for a truly great directed factual based film)
Official Website – Please Click HERE.
Genre: Biography and Drama
Release Date: 24 September 2009
Also Known As: Wustenblume
Runtime: 120 minutes
Goof: Lucinda (from the modelling agency) says to Warris she would be without broadband in Africa. Broadband didn’t exist in the early to Mid-1980’s when the story took place.
© Marcus De Storm 2011