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critics consensus

Beautifully filmed with wonderful performances, this Brazilian tale deftly explores the passage of time and prolonged isolation in several decades of a mother and daughter relationship. Read critic reviews

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The House of Sand Photos

Movie Info

After their patriarch (Ruy Guerra) dies in an accident, a pregnant woman (Fernanda Torres) and her mother (Fernanda Montenegro) must fend for themselves in a harsh desert in northern Brazil. Befriended by a local man (Luiz Melodia), they establish a modest home, and the younger one, Aurea, dreams of escape, but the older one, Dona Maria, learns to accept her fate.

Cast & Crew

Fernanda Montenegro
Dona Maria , Áurea , Maria
Fernanda Torres
Áurea , Maria
Ruy Guerra
Vasco de Sá
Seu Jorge
Massu (1910-1919)
Luiz Melodia
Massu (1942)
Enrique Díaz
Luiz (1919)
Stênio Garcia
Luiz (1942)
João Acaiabe
Massu's father
Nélson Jacobina
Scientist
Daniel Filho
Associate Producer
Pedro Guimaraes
Producer
João Barone
Music
Ricardo Della Rosa
Cinematographer
Sérgio Mekler
Editor
Tulé Peak
Production Design
Claudia Kopke
Costume Designer
Tulé Peak
Art Director
Sergio Farjalla Jr.
Special Effects
Jorge Saldanha
Sound
Miriam Biderman
Sound
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News & Interviews for The House of Sand

Critic Reviews for The House of Sand

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (55) | Rotten (15)

  • Evocative as it can be, House of Sand doesn't have enough story or incident to justify the investment in time.

    September 29, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Cinematographer Ricardo della Rosa ... has created images of rare beauty in the midst of terrain so spectacularly strange that it sometimes seems to speak a language all its own.

    September 22, 2006 | Rating: B
  • It is a wondrous place, almost of another planet, and more than compensation for the effort to get there.

    September 22, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Visually dazzling, epic in its sweep and deeply romantic in its sensibility, The House of Sand is one of those films whose images and ideas linger long after the lights come on, having been burned into the viewer's consciousness.

    September 15, 2006 | Full Review…
  • A visual work of art and its simple story moves as effortlessly as the sands in a forsaken desert in northern Brazil.

    September 15, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It ends up like an impressionist painting without a subject, one we stare at longingly, waiting for its purpose to emerge.

    September 15, 2006 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for The House of Sand

  • Oct 02, 2015
    The House of Sand features excellent acting and good storytelling. While there may be some problems with the plot itself, it was believable that it was happening to the characters on-screen. I rate it up mainly on account of the fact that I cared about what happened and was rooting for the character played by lead actress to make it out.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 18, 2013
    A beautiful work to look at, lost amidst the cinematic desert, which is a combination between Teshigahara and Tarkovsky, with less cinematic and metaphysical impact but with an hypnotic world that has the power to capture your body and make you stay permanently. Open you eyes and be cautious, because generations pass in the blink of an eye and the hearts of these "women in the dunes" are reflected by the same actresses with alternating roles. It deserves much more praise. 75/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • May 19, 2011
    a hypnotic epic starring the wonderful fernanda montenegro and her real-life daughter, the film follows 3 generations of women for 60 odd years trapped in a magnificent but forbidding desert environment of northern brazil. a meditative experience in some ways reminiscent of teshigahara's woman in the dunes
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2010
    I was fascinated by the existence in the desert. It was such an interesting setting for me. Not to say that I didn't enjoy the film itself.
    John B Super Reviewer

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