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by Sherry Horman


Waris is born into a family of nomads in the Somali desert. At the age of 12 she escapes from an arranged marriage, fleeing to Mogadishu. From there she makes her way to London, where she is discovered by the famous photographer Terence Donovan while cleaning floors in McDonald’s. She has no passport or residence visa, she can hardly speak a word of English, and she can neither read nor write – and yet she manages to become a supermodel. But part of her soul remains in Africa, though this was where she had to endure the most terrible suffering as a young girl. At the age of five she was circumcised. Now, in an article in Marie Claire, she breaks her silence after all these years. Kofi Anan, Secretary General of the United Nations, appoints her special ambassador to lead the struggle against female genital mutilation … 6000 girls all around the world are subjected to this brutal treatment every day.

international title: Desert Flower
original title: Desert Flower
country: Germany, Austria, United Kingdom
sales agent: The Match Factory
year: 2009
genre: fiction
directed by: Sherry Horman
film run: 120'
release date: DE 24/09/2009, AT 09/10/2009, FR 10/03/2010, BE 17/03/2010, ES 12/03/2010, NL 18/03/2010, FI 02/04/2010, IT 14/04/2016
screenplay: Sherry Horman
cast: Liya Kebede, Sally Hawkins, Craig Parkinson, Meera Syal, Anthony Mackie, Juliet Stevenson, Soraya Omar-Scego
cinematography by: Ken Kelsch
film editing: Clara Fabry
art director: Jamie Leonard
music: Martin Todsharow
producer: Gabriele Binder
production: Desert Flower Filmproductions
backing: MEDIA Programme
distributor: Majestic Filmverleih, Filmladen, Bac Films, Cinéart, Golem Distribución, Szuez Film, Clorofilm Srl

main awards/selection

Venice 2009 Venice Days - Giornate degli Autori

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Croatia On the Other Side