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The House of Sand-DVD Review *** 08/28/2010

Posted by Films to consider in Brazilian/Portuguese language film, Drama, Emotional Drama, Movies.
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The House of Sand (Brazilian) 2005

Winner, Alfred P. Sloan Prize, Sundance Film Festival
Official Selection, Tribeca Film Festival

Directed by Andrucha Waddington
Starring Fernanda Montenegro as Dona Maria and Fernanda Torres as Áurea

In the year 1910, Áurea, a young woman, moves to the isolated desert coastline of northern Brazil along with her crazy old-man husband Vasco and her widowed mother Maria. Intending to create a farming community, Vasco and some others bought land there but soon discover it’s infertile. After being robbed and deserted by the other folks who accompanied them, Vasco trades with a nearby settlement of fugitive slaves, giving away nearly all the possessions his family has left in exchange for lumber and palm leaves to build a house. He gets killed when part of the house falls on top of him.

The two women are left on their own. There is nothing nearby and no easy way to get there even if there was. They start to return home, but the mother is unable to make the long and difficult trip. The young woman soon discovers she is pregnant with Vasco’s child, so she won’t be going anywhere either. A daughter is born. Three generations end up living in a house that has no business being where it is.

Enjoy the excellent acting of real-life mother and daughter Montenegro and Torres as they portray the three generations over time. The coast of northern Brazil is astonishingly beautiful, but I’d only want to visit there if I was 150% certain to have a reliable way out. And, much as I love this film, after watching it I long for a walk in humid and shady woods.

Some understatements from the film: “This sand moves” and “We’ll wait.”

115 min. Rated R. Some sexual content.

For more info:
House of Sand (Widescreen)

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