By Admin | August 13, 2006

Full of looming symbolism, “House of Sand” is a brilliant tale following a family that brings a group of settlers into the middle of the desert to start a new life. As the conditions of their new location worsen, the settlers abandon Vasco and his wife Aurea to fend for themselves. This added stress causes Vasco’s already violent tendencies toward Aurea to worsen. Her mother, Maria, pleads with him to abandon this new settlement, which he instantly denies. No matter how horrible the conditions, Vasco isn’t the type to give up that easily. He is viscously determined to stay in the desert until his day is done.

Which, unfortunately for him, comes a lot sooner than he thinks.

So Aurea (Fernanda Torres) and Maria (Fernanda Montenegro) are left to fend for themselves. They offer every person they find wandering through the desert whatever they can to get them out (as it’s a month journey through the desert to back to the city). Nothing works out for them for years. In that time they meet Massu, a native of a nearby village (with not that many inhabitants) befriends who them and supplying them with food.

Decades go by and instead of relying on heavy make-up or finding another actress to fill the roles as the characters age, the actresses just move on to different roles. For instance, Torres switches to play her daughter at an older age and Montenegro changes her character from Maria to an older Aurea. Sound confusing? It’s really isn’t – it works brilliantly.

Ricardo Della Rosa’s stunning photography of the vastly empty desert compliments the feeling of despair, abandonment and desperation the characters are experiencing. As time progresses, the sand is an ever changing character, making things more difficult for the women.

Directed by Audrucha Waddington and written by screenwriter Elena Soarez (“Me, You, Them”) “House of Sand” is a massively beautiful epic. The actresses do a great job separating each character apart from the other (as they play multiple characters, remember?). This movie is giant steps above recent romantic-epics (“Tristan and Isolde” and “Troy” come to mind), and is one that all others after it need to live up to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon