House of Sand and Fog (film)

2003 film by Vadim Perelman

House of Sand and Fog is a 2003 American drama film about an abandoned wife who is evicted from her house and starts a tragic conflict with her home's new owners.

Directed by Vadim Perelman. Written by Perelman and Shawn Lawrence Otto, based on the novel of the same name by Andre Dubus.
Some dreams can't be shared.

Kathy Nicolo

  • I lived here, and you stole this house from me.
  • I miss my dad. He worked really hard for that house... It took him... thirty years to pay it off. And it took me eight months to fuck it up!

Colonel Massoud Amir Behrani

  • Perhaps you did not come here to live like a Gypsy, but I did not come here to work like an Arab... to be treated like an Arab. For four years we have lived a life we could not afford and spent almost everything to marry Soraya with a good family. This apartment alone has cost us over one hundred forty thousand dollars in rent. And what of Esmail's university education? Soon we will have nothing... And then you will see what it is like to walk in the shoes of the Gypsies... So... Beginning tomorrow you will begin packing, and there's no more to discuss. Mrs. Behrani, do not open your lips.
  • [to his son Esmail] Pesaram, she is a bird, a broken one. Your grandfather used to say that a bird which flies into your house is an angel. You must look upon his presence as a blessing.
  • [Praying for his dying son] Please, God, don't take my joon-am. I make my nazr. My nazr, hear me, please to hear me. I will give everything to one who is less fortunate. Yes! I will make it for the broken bird. Please, God, I'm making nazr to this woman. To Kathy Nicolo. And I, to you I promise, if you heal my son, I will return her father's house. I will also give to her all the money I have. My God, Khoda. I make nazr only for my son. Please, I want only for my son. I beg you. I will do whatever is your will. I will purchase ten kilos of the finest seed and I will find an American mosque and I will feed them to all the birds outside. I will let the birds cover me and peck out my eyes! Please, God, my nazr is in your hands!

Nadi Behrani

  • [to Massoud, in Farsi] I didn't come to America to live and walk the streets like a filthy Arab! I came to America to LIVE!


Kathy: I grew up in this house. It's the house that my father left to me and my brother when he died. The county evicted me from this house by mistake and your husband bought it and now, he won't sell it back for less than four times what he paid. Now, I don't want to argue with him. You know, I really don't. It's just that if this goes to court, it could take...
Nadi: [interrupting] They want to deport us?
Kathy: I don't know.
Nadi: You must see... they will kill us. They will shoot my children.
[breaks down and cries]
Kathy: [comforting her] Hey, hey. You don't understand a word I'm saying, do you?
Nadi: Please, you are a very nice girl. [grabs a notepad and pen] Please, you write for me everything. I want for to understand for discussing with my husband. OK?
Kathy: OK.

Esmail: Why did that man say we would be deported?
Behrani: I don't know. But we are American citizens. We own this house. They can do nothing to us now.
Esmail: I feel bad for that lady, Baba-jan.
Behrani: The woman's house was taken from her because she did not pay her taxes. That happens when one is not responsible.
Esmail: But...
Behrani: Do you understand? Do not feel bad. Americans they do not deserve what they have. They have the eyes of small children who are forever looking for the next source of distraction, entertainment, sweet taste in the mouth. We are not like them. We know rich opportunities when we see them and do not throw away God's blessing.

[after Lester threatens Massoud with deportation in front of his family]
Nadi: Give to me answer, Behrani. What did that man say about deporting?
Behrani: He said nothing, Nadi.
Nadi: Do not lie to me! I heard him! Tell to me, Behrani. [In Farsi] Tell me. [In English] What have you done?
Behrani: It is none of your business what I have or have not done. Have you no faith in me? No respect? That man has said I must remove the sign, that is all.
Nadi: Coward! Liar! You casif liar! It is YOUR fault we were forced to flee from Iran! It is YOUR fault we are here!
Esmail: [In Farsi] That's enough, mother!
Nadi: Yours and your SAVAK friends!
[Behrani slaps her]

Behrani: [to Kathy] You think you can frighten me? You think you can frighten me with your stupid deputy coming here telling me lies?
[Grabs Kathy by the arm and frog-marches her down the path]
Behrani: What do you think I am? Tell me that. Am I stupid? You think I'm stupid?
Nadi: [Following them] Don't!
Behrani: In my country, you're not worthy to raise your eyes to me. You're nothing! And you can tell your deputy friend his superior officers know everything!
[Opens Kathy's car and shoves her inside the driver's seat, banging her head]
Behrani: You tell him that! This is our home!
Kathy: Please...
Behrani: OUR HOME!
Nadi: [In Farsi] Leave her alone! That's enough! [In English] Please, stop! Please, to stop, Behrani!

Nadi: I am tired.
Behrani: Soon we will return to the flowers of Isfahan... the mosques of Qom... and to the fine hotels of old Tehran. I have taken us so far off our course. But now it is time to return. It is time for us to go home, to our destiny.