At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


House of Sand and Fog--Pretty good. I've forgotten most of my Aristotle, but didn't he think that in a tragedy the suffering should arise inexorably from character flaws? Anyway, that's what happens in this movie, involving a fatal clash between diametrically opposed vices: American indiscipline (in the character of recovering drug addict Kathy) and old world inflexibility (in the character of Iranian immigrant Behrani). A nice touch is that towards the end of the movie Behrani repents and attempts to rectify the situation, but succeeds thereby only in bringing the tragedy to its horrible conclusion--thus emphasizing that our acts can have such weight that their results are irrevocable. However, something about the plot device at the end involving Behrani's son struck me as forced, though I wouldn't be able to explain why. And I would agree with other viewers that the character of the cop, and the actor who plays him, are bland. Still, it's worth seeing at least once.


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