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The House of Sand Details


Three generations of women struggle to make lives for themselves and their families in the desert wastes of Northern Brazil in a drama from filmmaker Andrucha Waddington. In 1910, Vasco de Sá (Ruy Guerra) leads his wife, Áurea (Fernanda Torres), and her mother, Dona Maria (Fernanda Montenegro), to their new home -- a ramshackle cabin in Maranhão, a tiny village in the middle of a barren sand dune. Vasco and Áurea's new neighbors are hardly welcoming of the new arrivals, especially Massu (Seu Jorge), and when Vasco unexpectedly dies, Áurea and Dona Maria are left to fend for themselves, an especially vexing challenge as Áurea is with child. Nine years later, Áurea and Dona Maria have turned their cottage into a home, but life in Maranhão remains a constant uphill battle, and Áurea dreams of moving away with her daughter, Maria (Camilla Facundes). Áurea becomes infatuated with Luiz (Enrique Diaz), who works with a group of astronomers who have come to Maranhão to observe an eclipse, but their romance comes to a crashing halt when Dona Maria is killed. By 1942, Maria (now played by Fernanda Torres) is a promiscuous alcoholic who brings shame to Áurea (now played by Fernanda Montenegro). After the body of an Air Force pilot is found near Maranhão, a military officer is sent to investigate -- Luiz (now played by Stenio Garcia). When Luiz meets Maria, he sees the image of the woman he longed for years before, and while she doesn't have the same feelings for him, Maria realizes that Luiz represents her best hope of finally escaping the village she's come to hate. The House of Sand received its North American premiere at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:August 11, 2006


Awarded by
Sundance Film Festival Andrucha Waddington Alfred P. Sloan Prize 2006 Winner
Satellite Awards Andrucha Waddington Best Original Screenplay 2006 Nominee
Satellite Awards Ricardo Della Rosa Best Cinematography 2006 Nominee
Satellite Awards Luis Carlos Barreto Best Original Screenplay 2006 Nominee
Satellite Awards Elena Soarez Best Original Screenplay 2006 Nominee


Seu Jorge
as Massu (1910-1919)
Enrique Diaz
as Luiz (1919)
Stenio Garcia
as Luiz (1942)
Emiliano Querioz
as Chico do Sal
Camilla Facundes
as Maria (1919)
Ruy Guerra
as Vasco de Sa
Fernanda Torres
as Aurea
Fernanda Montenegro
as Maria (1969)
Fernanda Torres
as Aurea
Ruy Guerra
as Vasco de Sa


Andrucha Waddington
Andrucha Waddington
Leonardo Monteiro de Barros
Pedro Buarque de Hollanda
Luis Carlos Barreto
Screen Story
Andrucha Waddington
Screen Story
Elena Soarez
Screen Story
Elena Soarez
Ricardo Della Rosa
Joao Barone
Composer (Music Score)
Sergio Mekler
Walter Salles, Jr.
Luis Carlos Barreto
Lucy Barreto
Claudia Kopke
Costume Designer
Jorge Saldanha
Sound/Sound Designer
Mark Berger
Re-Recording Mixer
Miriam Biderman
Supervising Sound Editor
Tim Maia
Line Producer
Fabio Soares
Visual Effects Supervisor