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Scene from DESERT FLOWER (photo © Desert Flower Filmproductions/Walter Wehner/People Photography)

When Waris Dirie’s Desert Flower appeared in 1998, the world was shocked. The former supermodel tells her breathtaking life story, describing her incredible journey from a nomadic life in the deserts of Somalia to the world’s most famous catwalks. This was a dream and a nightmare at the same time. In New York, at the peak of her career, she tells in an interview of the practice of circumcision that she had to suffer when she was five. Waris Dirie decides to end her life as a model and dedicate her life to fighting this archaic ritual.

Sherry Hormann was born in Kingston/New York in 1960 and moved to Germany in 1966. She studied at the University of Television & Film in Munich from 1979-1983 and worked in continuity and as an assistant director for television and film until 1986. Since then, she has been active as a scriptwriter, production designer and director. Her directorial debut SILENT SHADOWS (1991) won German Film Awards for Best Film, Best Female Actress and Best Soundtrack in 1992 as well as the Bavarian Film Award for Best Newcomer Director and the Max Ophüls Award. Her other films include: FRAUEN SIND WAS WUNDERBARES (1993), DOUBTING THOMAS (IRREN IST MÄNNLICH, 1995), THE CELLIST (1996), WIDOWS (1997), PRIVATE LIES (2000), MY DAUGHTER'S TEARS (2002), BALLS (MÄNNER WIE WIR, 2004), DESERT FLOWER (WÜSTENBLUME, 2009), and A REGULAR WOMAN (NUR EINE FRAU, 2019).
Genre Drama, Biopic
Category Feature
Year of Production 2009
Director Sherry Hormann
Screenplay Sherry Hormann
Cinematography Ken Kelsch
Clara Fabry
Martin Todsharow
Jamie Leonard
Cast Soraya Omar-Scego, Anthony Mackie, Liya Kebede, Sally Hawkins, Meera Syal, Craig Parkinson, Juliet Stevenson, Timothy Spall
Producer Peter Herrmann
Co-Producers Danny Krausz, Benjamin Herrmann, Barbara Seiller, Til Schweiger, Hans-Wolfgang Jurgan, Hubert von Spreti, Bettina Reitz, Roch Lener, Martin Bruce-Clayton, David P. Kelly, Waris Dirie
Production Company Desert Flower Filmproduktion/Munich, in co-production with Dor Film, Majestic Filmproduktion, BSI International Invest/Hamburg, BAC Films, Mr. Brown Entertainment/Berlin, MTM West/Cologne, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARD Degeto, in association with Backup Films/Paris
Length 120 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
Subtitled Version English
Festivals Venice 2009 (Venice Days), San Sebastian 2009, Hamptons 2009, Thessaloniki 2009, Berlin 2010 (German Cinema), Festroia 2010, Melbourne 2010, Mill Valley 2010, Palm Springs 2011, Cleveland 2011
Awards Best European Film San Sebastian 2009, Bavarian Film Prize 2010 (Producer's Award)
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, German Federal Film Fund, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Eurimages, Oesterreichisches Filminstitut, ORF, Filmfonds Wien
German Distributor Majestic Filmverleih

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