|Opening Film (1)||New Currents (26)|
|Asian Spectrum: Post 98 Indonesian Women’s Cinema (9)||Polemics: Maternity in Question (6)|
|Transmediascape (8)||Queer Rainbow: Generation to Generation (13)|
|Open Cinema (4)||Asian Short Film & Video Competition (19)|
|Documentary Ock Rang Award (1)||Media Workshop for Women Migrants: Asian Wonder Women, ACTION! (11)|
|NAWFF Seoul 2010 (4)|
Audience Award / San Sebastián International Film Festival 2009 Program Note
At 13, Waris fled forced marriage and crossed days of desert alone before reaching the Somali capital Mogadishu. Spunky shopgirl Marilyn takes Waris in and becomes a trusted friend. While working in a fast food restaurant, Waris is discovered by star photographer Terry Donaldson and ambitious agent Lucinda guides her transformation into a working model. But behind the glamorous facade of Waris’ new life lies a deeply heart-stirring fate. Despite her success, Waris remains burdened by a violent childhood secret. At the height of her career, Waris reveals to the world that she was a victim of female genital mutilation.
Desert Flower is an adaption of an autobiographic novel by Waris Dirie, a top model from Somalia. In Somalia where every person’s name has a special meaning, Waris Dirie means ‘desert flower.’She ran away from home the day before her marriage to an old man at the age of 13. She moved to London afterwards to work as a housemaid in her relative’s house, and eventually became the flower of fashion industry.
At a glance, this film seems to be a story of a poor girl achieving miraculous success. But it goes further as a woman film when Waris Dirie, before her success, shows her genitals to her only friend Marilyn who shows hers to Waris Dirie too. Here, the terrible memory of Waris Dirie being forced to be circumcised in Africa soars up to the surface of the film narrative. Later on, Waris Dirie stands at the front of the campaign that tells the world about ‘the cruel custom practiced under the name of tradition.’ This film sees Africa not with anger but with emotion. The women’ circumcision issue was treated in Warrior Marks by Pratibha Parmar and The Day I Will Never Forget by Kim Longinotto before, Desert Flower talks about it the most publicly and emotionally. (KWON Eun-sun)
Audience Award / San Sebastián International Film Festival 2009
Sherry HORMANNSherry HORMANN
Born in Kingston, New York, this German American director won several awards with her directing debut Silent shadow (1991), to which she also wrote the script, including the Bavarian Film Award and the Max-Ophüls Award. A graduate of the HFF (Academy of Television and Film Munich), she began her career as a set designer in Domink Graf\'s early works Tiger, Löwe, Panther (1987), for which she also wrote the screenplay. As a director, Hormann displayed her talents for the popular comedy Frauen sind was Wunderbares (1994). Her breakthrough as a director came with her second cinema film Father’s day (1996). This comedy pulled in more than 1.5 million viewers. She is steadily producing films.