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Haus aus Sand und Nebel (House of Sand and Fog)
U.S.A. 2003

Opening 17 Feb 2005

Directed by: Vadim Perelman
Writing credits: Andre Dubus III, Vadim Perelman, Shawn Otto
Principal actors: Jennifer Connelly, Ben Kingsley, Ron Eldard, Frances Fisher, Shohreh Aghdashloo

Two very different people must deal with each other over the sale of a house. Colonel Behrani (Ben Kingsley) has fled from the turbulence in Iran to start a new life in California. Whereas in Iran he enjoyed wealth under the protection of the shah, he now does hard manual labor. Kathy (Jennifer Connelly) is far from her support system of relatives, her boyfriend has left her and she barely holds a job. She retreats into the cocoon of the house she inherited, but this is brutally taken from her through a bureaucratic error. It is sold in public auction to Behrani and his wife and son – to them a symbol of the glamour of their former lives. With the help of a policeman, Kathy fights for her house; Behrani has the law on his side, and a cruel and escalating tug of war ensues with a tragic ending. Based on the book of the same name by André Dubus III, the director Vadim Perelman expertly shows us two outsiders who are victims of circumstances and who deal with it according to their past experiences, expectations, and values. This is an excellent film, especially for anyone who has ever lived in a foreign country and tried to muddle through a problem which could have been resolved differently in your own country. Nominated for Academy Awards last year, it’s a shame to open here a whole year later, but better late than never; it is definitely worth your time. (Becky Tan)

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