True stories usually make great movies and “Desert Flower” is no exception. This film was adopted from the book “Desert Flower” by Waris Dirie. The book as well as the movie is the true story of her life. Waris became a top supermodel despite coming from a line of Somalian nomads. Her roots had followed a ritual of female circumcision and arranged marriages. When she was thirteen she left her family and everything she had known to get away from marrying a much older man. She wound up in London, England where she worked and lived with her wealthy relatives. After a falling out with them, she tried to go it alone. She tried to make ends meet and even worked at a McDonald’s. She met and became friends with a woman, Marilyn, and through this friendship she realized that women in America do not go through the trauma that she did in her youth. She comes to realizations through being forced to relive her past as she is trying to move forward with a new life.
Fortunately she was discovered by photographer Terence Donovan and he helped her land the cover of the 1987 Pirelli calendar. This was the pivoting point that launched her modeling career and top designers such as Revlon, Chanel and L’ Oreal chose her for their ads. She has graced the runways in New York City, Milan, Paris and London and was in the most elite fashion magazines including Vogue, Elle and Glamour. She even had a minor role in the James Bond movie “The Living Daylights”.