House of Sand and Fog - 2003
Directed by Vadim Perelman
Based on the novel of the same name, this movie portrays an Iranian-American family that gets caught up in a dispute with a troubled woman over the ownership of a house. This movie may be an antithesis to "Not Without My Daughter," portraying Iranians as fully developed characters with complex motivations.
Color, 2 hours 6 minutes, English/Farsi
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Half-English, Half-Indian Ben Kingsley portrays Massoud Amir Behrani, a former Colonel in the Shah's Air Force who must adjust to a less dignified life in America.
Kingsley portrays the character of Behrani with dignity and grace, though he is not without faults. In short he treats the character as a fully-rounded human being, not some crude stereotype.
Behrani's goal up until now has been to marry his daughter off to a prosperous family. After succeeding in this, his attentions turn to leading a more realistic lifestyle.
Behrani works several jobs to maintain his family's opulent lifestyle.
Iranian-American Jonathan Ahdout plays Behrani's son Esmail who has been "Americanized" in many ways.
In a role that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress (the first nomination ever for an Iranian), Shohreh Aghdashloo portrays Behrani's wife Nadi.
The family enjoys a take-out dinner in their new house unaware of the trouble that awaits them.
Nadi demonstrates the very Iranian way to drink tea - placing the sugar cube in her mouth before having a sip.
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