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

R  |   |  Drama  |  13 May 2005 (Brazil)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,595 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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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

Perspective Is Everything!
25 January 2007 | by (San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

Maybe it's a male/female perspective (the mother daughter relationships were so spot on), or an American/Brazilian difference in perspective, but I can not understand all the negative comments on the board regarding this movie! To me it is a haunting little masterpiece I will not soon forget. The standout acting, the stunning yet eerie landscape setting, the subtle plot, and the music are reminiscent of Kurosawa's deeply minimal but hugely philosophical dramas. Add to that, a brilliantly BIG viewfinder of a camera and a really superb space science sub plot this movie is almost epic. I was surprised by it's simplicity and astonished by it's depth. The director may be young but his soul is ever so old.

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