Desert Flower, a film based on the autobiography of supermodel Waris Dirie, has alredy been released in 20 countries and it’s finally coming to the US, opening March 18 in limited release. Ethiopian supermodel/actress Liya Kebede plays Dirie and looks astonishingly like her. British actors Sally Hawkins and Timothy Spall, also star in this astonishing true story of a Somalian nomad who was sold in marriage at 13, escaped, immigrated to England, was homeless, got discovered by photographer Terrance Donovan and became an international supermodel.
Dirie walked the European and NY designer runways and appeared on the covers of Elle, Glamour and Vogue. But she had kept a dark secret: the horrific genital mutilation she was subjected to at age three. She finally spoke about the experience in a 1997 interview with Marie Claire. That year she also became a UN spokeswoman against the ancient ritual that continues to affect the lives — and cause the deaths — of millions of women around the world.