House of Sand (2005)
"Casa de Areia" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  13 May 2005 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,603 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 35 user | 42 critic | 23 from

A woman is taken along with her mother in 1910 to a far-away desert by her husband, and after his passing, is forced to spend the next 59 years of her life hopelessly trying to escape it.


(screenplay) (as Elena Soárez) , (story), 2 more credits »
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11 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Dona Maria / Áurea / Maria
Áurea / Maria
Vasco de Sá
Massu - 1910-1919
Stênio Garcia ...
Luiz - 1942
Luiz Melodia ...
Massu - 1942
Enrique Diaz ...
Luiz - 1919 (as Enrique Díaz)
Emiliano Queiroz ...
Chico do Sal
João Acaiabe ...
Pai de Massu
Camilla Facundes ...
Maria - 1919
Haroldo Costa ...
Jorge Mautner ...
Nelson Jacobina ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Zumbi Bahia ...
Carregador Vasco #1
Jefferson de Almeida Barbosa ...
Mirinho (1919)


Áurea arrives at a town in the dunes of State of Maranhão, Brazil, in 1910, having for female company only her mother Maria. She is pregnant and wants a way out of that arid place. But leaving is difficult and, somehow, she still hopes to find happiness there. The film follows these two lives for three generations, including Áurea's daughter. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1910s | dunes | goat | slave | desert | See All (35) »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some graphic sexuality | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 May 2005 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

The House of Sand  »

Box Office


BRL 8,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie was filmed entirely in the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, an ecosystem of sand dunes in Maranhão State (northeastern Brazil). See more »


The movie takes pains to make reference to real events. However, the location marker erected for the scientific party at the total solar eclipse shows the wrong date. It should be 29.05.1919. See more »


Prelude Opus 28, nº 15
by Frédéric Chopin
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User Reviews

Clever twist saves sinking pretensions
17 December 2006 | by (SoFla, UsA) – See all my reviews

From Brazil begins this unusual tale taking place in their early 20th century's untamed deserts, leading a distraught man, his wife, with family and following, to the absurd notion of settling into the middle of an elusive waterhole, centered in the middle of an endless sandscape, into one eventual House of Sand. What transpires from the mysterious setup of this piece is captured with quite dignity, accentuated with the production values that would have any techie humbled by the tough shoot this crew must have undergone to balance the artsy direction to the harsh environment. It is to the film's detriment then, that the vast majority of time is spent milking the unique aesthetics involved here, insensitively editing many of the beautifully photographed shots which adds up to a whole that unwittingly imitates it's protagonist's plight a little too closely- that of sinking into the ground of nothingness. Fortunately a cleverly conceived, though questionably rendered plot device snaps the viewer's interest back late in the game, even rounding out the mostly one trick affair on a profound note. This extra dimension carved out in the third act does save this House from blowing away for the artistic excuse a lot of it seems to be.

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