House of Sand (Casa de Areia)
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Aurea is brought to the northern Brazilian town of Maranhao by her insane husband Vasco, who suffers from delusions that the barren land may be profitably farmed. A calamitous turn of events leaves Aurea, now pregnant, and her mother Maria alone in the desert in a house full of sand. They eventually find friendship and food through Massu, who lives at a quilombo (a self-sustaining society originally formed by escaped slaves). Aurea wrestles with her unhappy fate but slowly grows accustomed to the new rhythm of life in the dunes. Years pass and we find Aurea at peace in the desert, while her… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Evocative as it can be, House of Sand doesn't have enough story or incident to justify the investment in time."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"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."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Disregards the political shifts of Brazil's history by isolating the sprawling narrative from the rest of the nation, so that nothing can distract the director from his finicky composing"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"...a part of a classic art-house tradition, that of the starkly beautiful yet chilly movie that haunts the memory without compelling any particular attention."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"At once allegorical and grimly naturalistic -- a contemplation of the sands of time set amid the drifting dunes of Brazil's unforgiving Maranahao desert."
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
"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."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
"A visual work of art and its simple story moves as effortlessly as the sands in a forsaken desert in northern Brazil."
‑ Marta Barber, Miami Herald
"It all seems as bleak and empty as the desert."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"House of Sand boasts the hypnotic power of its landscape and a pair of powerful and passionate performances by Montenegro and Torres."
‑ Beth Accomando,
"This beautifully photographed drama feels slow and lethargic."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"It is a wondrous place, almost of another planet, and more than compensation for the effort to get there."
‑ Michael Booth, Denver Post
"It ends up like an impressionist painting without a subject, one we stare at longingly, waiting for its purpose to emerge."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"Both characters make gradual evolutions, but don't blame audiences if they're too dazed and dry-mouthed to notice."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"A devastating yet beautiful film from Brazil, House of Sand tells an epic story of love and desolation."
‑ John Wirt, Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
"The dramatic and often sad lives led by the women yield surprisingly intimate dramas considering such limitless surroundings, a contrast that's played up by the excellent cinematography."
‑ Jason Ferguson, Orlando Weekly
More reviews for House of Sand (Casa de Areia) on Rotten Tomatoes