• R, 2 hr.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Sherry Horman
    In Theaters:
    Mar 18, 2011 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jul 19, 2011
  • National Geographic Entertainment


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Desert Flower Reviews

Page 1 of 1
Sarah Sluis
Film Journal International

This inspiring story of a nomad-turned-model is executed in the style of a made-for-TV movie.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

August 15, 2011
Simon Miraudo

Desert Flower is just like Pretty Woman, if Pretty Woman were also about genital mutilation in Somalia (which I believe it originally was).

Full Review Source: Quickflix | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 13, 2011
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It has a compelling message and surrounds it with biopic scenes that appear to be brought in from a different kind of movie. The effect is rather unsettling.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 31, 2011
Diego Costa
Slant Magazine

The film's unabashed willingness to go from bleak topical piece on genital mutilation to guilty-pleasure glamour can be disconcerting.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

March 20, 2011
Craig Mathieson

It cannot get past the simplest of outlooks, with Waris as victim, survivor or star; there's little insight into she really is.

Full Review Source: sbs.com.au | Original Score: 2.5/5

December 8, 2010
S. Jhoanna Robledo
Common Sense Media

Mature biopic has moving drama but lacks coherence.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 2/5

April 11, 2011
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Good idea, mediocre presentation.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

March 18, 2011
Mark Jenkins
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The broad comedy clashes with the movie's final message.

Full Review Source: NPR

March 18, 2011
Marc Mohan

Waris' saga is one that needs to be told, but this well-meaning dramatization might have had more power if it were a documentary.

Full Review Source: Oregonian | Original Score: C+

March 31, 2011
Pete Hammond
Back Stage

A stirring story that mixes personal horror, courage and eventually triumph.

Full Review Source: Back Stage | Original Score: 3/5

March 18, 2011
Clay Cane

'Desert Flower' is a superbly told story with unapologetic conviction, noticeable fire, and the purest intentions of moving your soul. The first must-see movie of the year.

Full Review Source: BET.com | Original Score: A

February 15, 2011
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A lovely performance by Ethiopian supermodel-actress Liya Kebede as supermodel-activist Waris Dirie works wonders to elevate this uneven, occasionally awkward but often absorbing film.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

March 17, 2011
Richard Mowe
Boxoffice Magazine

A gripping, if uneven, cinematic journey.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

March 22, 2011
Harvey S. Karten

A beautiful model bears eloquent witness to the butchery of female circumcision.

Full Review Source: Compuserve | Original Score: B+

February 5, 2011
John Hartl
Seattle Times
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Written and directed by German filmmaker Sherry Hormann, it works as well as it does because of the performances she's drawn from a solid cast.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

March 31, 2011
Neil Genzlinger
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Desert Flower," a well-made film that depicts the remarkable life of the model Waris Dirie, manages to be both a classic feel-good story and about as far from a feel-good story as you can get.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

March 18, 2011
Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
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Luckily, her cast makes up for the lapses, and Kebede is especially effective at showing how triumph over culturally sanctioned brutality remains a tentative prospect at best.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 15, 2011
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Waris Dirie is an inspiration, inside and out, and so is this movie.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 3/5

March 23, 2011
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