Skip to main content


USA, 1960 (MIFF 1962)

Director: Jerome Hill

The Sand Castle is the story of an afternoon of a small boy who is left on the beach with his sister. He wanders about and picks up stray objects — a seashell evokes an unconscious response and, in a reverie, he builds a sand castle. Several people, who are ultimately, directly or indirectly, affected by what he is doing, gather to watch. Presently a storm drives them away, and the boy falls asleep with his sister under a beach umbrella. In a dream he explores the interior of the sand castle, meeting the people who had watched him build it.

The film's creator, Jerome Hill, originally intended to illustrate Jung's psychological theory of sleep, but he rapidly abandoned this specific purpose and the film acquired the stature and evocative power of a work of art. It is a "double" film, built around the contrast between the conscious and the subconscious existing in sleep. To emphasize this contrast, Hill has shot the first sequence in black and white and the dream sequence in colour, in which he introduces a novel form of stop-frame animation: paper figurines against paper sets painted to resemble a nineteenth-century theatre. This versatile director majored in music at Yale and has studied painting in Rome and Paris. He has a number of documentary films to his credit including the Academy Award winner Albert Schweitzer. The Sand Castle is his first feature film.

See also...

Grandma Moses

An interview with "Grandma Moses", one of the best known artists in America today. Many of the paintings of Anna Mary Robertson, now in her nineties, are included. ... More »


This is a comedy fantasy involving such disparate elements as Chinese restaurants, kidnapping gypsies, and twin sisters who switch identities. The film centres on the differing values of two New ... More »


This portrayal of the life of a famous man who abandoned the certainty of a distinguished career to become a medical missionary in French Equatorial Africa opens with scenes from his boyhood and ... More »

William S. Hart

The first western star, William S. Hart, produced, directed his own films, and appeared in all of them as the lead. In this study of his work, we see extensive extracts from two of his sagas ... More »


This hour-long film is a statement on behalf of contemporary art. It presents the movement from the first break with classical form to our art expression of today. Paintings used in the film were ... More »

From Generation to Generation

By means of diagrams and actual photography the film tells with imagery and symbolism the story of human reproduction. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director