The two main characters of this film are Kathy (Jennifer Connelly), a recovering alcoholic who is struggling to maintain her sobriety while being faced with losing the family's house that her recently deceased father had worked so hard for. Kathy had neglected the mail after her husband left and didn't get the warnings from the state that her home would be repossessed if she didn't pay off a delinquent business tax. Her home was put up for auction and sold, and now, Kathy has resorted to sleeping in the back seat of her car. Soon she becomes so obsessed with reclaiming the home that her father had left to her that she won't stop until the new family is gone, at any price.
The home is sold to a Masoud Behrani (Ben Kingsley) who was a former Iranian military colonel who fled to the United States to start a new life with his wife (Nadi) and son (Esmail) after the emergence of the Ayatollah. Colonel Behrani, once a member of the Shah elite, was exiled from his home when the Ayatollah came into power, and now was reduced to working two menial jobs - and hiding them from his family and community - to keep himself, his wife and son afloat. When a real-estate auction presented his family with the opportunity to buy the home at four times less then the market value, and with the prospect of again becoming financially secure, Behrani decides to invest the rest of their family's savings into the property. Kathy's home represented more to Behrani than just a roof over their heads - it was the key to recovering their family's opportunity to a better life.
The conflict in this film occurs when the two lives collide in their fight for the house, which for both of them represented the stability and the security of their future. For Kathy, the house was more than just a childhood sanctuary, for it literally was the only stable thing she had left in the remains of her self-destructed life. And for Colonel Behrani it represented the American Dream, the yearning for upward...
Cited: Wikipedia contributors (2006). Ayatollah. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved, March 18, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ayatollah&oldid=44373905.
Berardinelli, J. (2003). Film Review. A House of Sand and Fog. Retrieved, March 19, 2006 from http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movies/h/house_sand.html
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