Screened as part of NZIFF 2006

The House of Sand 2005

Casa de areia

Directed by Andrucha Waddington

Moving, ravishing and gripping saga follows three generations of women forced to eke out an existence in the spectacular desert wilderness of Brazil’s Maranhão region.

Brazil In Portuguese with English subtitles
115 minutes CinemaScope


Elena Soárez. Based on a story by Luiz Carlos Barreto, Elena Soárez, Andrucha Waddington


Ricardo Della Rosa


Sérgio Mekler


Carlo Bartolini
João Barone


Fernanda Montenegro
Fernanda Torres
Ruy Guerra
Seu Jorge


Toronto 2005; Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, San Francisco 2006


Ravishing the eye and reaching the heart, The House of Sand is a gripping saga following three generations of women forced to eke out an existence in the spectacular wilderness of Brazil’s Maranhão region, where intense heat and gale force winds are minor hazards compared to the constantly shifting sand dunes that threaten to engulf their home. Soon after being dragged to this wasteland in 1910 by her belligerent husband Vasco, pregnant Áurea is left to fend for herself with only her mother for company. Fate has indeed dealt the women a cruel hand but as the decades advance, they also encounter blistering passion, cosmic interludes and enduring love. In a stroke of casting genius that provides the vital emotional continuity required by such a saga, the three generations of women are played by the same two superb actresses, real-life mother and daughter Fernanda Montenegro and Fernanda Torres. By the time 1969 rolls around the final scenes are so intimate, and so moving, that we can scarcely bear to depart their forsaken desert world.