Waris Dirie is a Somali model, author, actress and human rights activist. At the age of thirteen, she fled her family in order to escape an arranged marriage to a much older man. In London, she became a supermodel. In 1997, Waris abandoned her modeling career to focus on her work against female circumcision. That same year, she was appointed UN Special Ambassador for the Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation.
Circumcised at the age of 3 in the name of tradition, Waris Dirie has made the fight against female genital mutilation the major combat of her life. She decided to talk publicly to the media about the female circumcision she was subjected to; She was later appointed as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations by Kofi Annan.
BELLE follows the story of Dido Elizebeth Belle, biracial daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay and an enslaved woman named Maria Belle. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield and his wife, Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. // dir. by Amma Asante, 2014.