''House of Sand and Fog'' is a 1999 novel written by Andre Dubus III. It was later made into a 2003 film diected by Vadim Perelman, starring Creator/BenKingsley and Creator/JenniferConnelly.
Kathy Nicolo, a former drug addict, loses her Californian bungalow in an unfair legal dispute with the county and has nowhere else to go. Massoud Amir Behrani, an Iranian immigrant living the United States, buys it in hopes that he can fix it and sell it for a higher price to help his family. Both believe that they are entitled to the house and the conflict turns to tragedy.
!!The novel and film provide examples of:
* AdaptationDistillation: The film for the most part is faithful to the novel up until the ending which is considerably darker in the source material.
* AgonyOfTheFeet: The movie has a scene where Kathy impales her bare foot on a board with a nail sticking out of it.
* BothSidesHaveAPoint[=/=]GreyAndGrayMorality: The story refuses to take a side as both main characters have valid reasons for refusing to relinquish the house.
* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: Kathy's lawyer points out the whole situation would have been averted if she had just checked her mail.
* CreatorCameo: Dubus has a cameo in the film.
* DiabolusExMachina: Deputy Lester Burdon essentially fulfills this in the third act. Less so in the novel where his character is more developed but in the film his character's role in the climax is considerably jarring.
* DownerEnding: It doesn't end well for anyone.
* DressingToDie: [[spoiler:Colonel Behrani]] puts on his uniform before committing suicide.
* HowWeGotHere: The film opens and ends with the same scene of Kathy's character staring blankly at her house.
* LighterAndSofter: Dark as it is, the film's ending is this to the novel. [[spoiler:After his son dies, Behrani finds Kathy still in his home and strangles her; she doesn't die. (This scene was shot and is available as a deleted scene) Behrani later suffocates his wife with a pillow before killing himself. In the film, she goes willingly with a poisoned drink. The film also omits Kathy going to prison.]]
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler:No one wins. Behrani's son is killed, and he kills his wife and then himself. Lester and (in the novel) Kathy are arrested and wait trial.]]
* SuicidePact: [[spoiler:Behrani and his wife]] agree to commit suicide together.
* UnconfessedUnemployment: Behrani doesn't want to admit to his family that the only work he can find is as a trash collector and convenience store clerk. He makes a point of wearing a suit and tie whenever he's at home.