Sand Wars

Investigating a disappearance

Most of us think of it as a complimentary ingredient of any beach vacation. Yet those seemingly insignificant grains of silica surround our daily lives. Every house, skyscraper and glass building, every bridge, airport and sidewalk in our modern society depends on sand. We use it to manufacture optical fiber, cell phone components and computer chips. We find it in our toothpaste, powdered foods and even in our glass of wine (both the glass and the wine, as a fining agent)!

Is sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy a gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive beach sand mining for the environment and the neighboring populations?

Based on encounters with sand smugglers, barefoot millionaires, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous real estate developers and environmentalists, this investigation takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the “Sand Wars” have begun.

"Sand Wars" is appropriate for a wide audience, for example at events and screenings and is likely suitable for young people aged 12 and up. "Sand Wars" makes a very strong impact.

Selected for the Films for the Earth Festival 2014.

"Sand Wars" shows numerous and well-explained correlations and draws comprehensible connections to our daily lives. The film illuminates the issue from different perspectives and contains noticeable interviews.

The topic has rarely or even never been documented before, so the news value is very high. The film stands out due to its good journalistic performance and high documentation quality. "Sand Wars" is highly relevant and refers strongly to our planet as basis for life.

The film is intelligent, appealing, and stimulates mind and soul.

"Sand Wars" conveys knowledge and facts very well, makes the impact of human activities on our planet clear and includes many empirical examples. It is a very touching documentary, which allows to gain a planetary perspective.

In view of the technical performance, the film stands out due to its logical structure, great excitement and the content-rich pictures and scenes. The film contains never before seen footage.

Director(s): Denis Delestrac
Script: Denis Delestrac
Production: La Compagnie des Taxis-Brousse, Rappi Productions, Laurent Mini, Guillaume Rappeneau, Nathalie Barton
Music: Sébastien Robitaille
Actors: Mohamed Nasheed, Shaun Tomson, Michael Welland, Eileen Teen, Gloria Thomas, Orrin Pilkey, Cyrille Simonnet, Erik Meyers, Pieter de Pous
Year: 2013
Duration: 74 min
Picture format: 16:9
Our age recommendation: 16
Language (audio): German, French, English
Country of origin: Canada, France
Shooting Locations:
Screening rights: Rappi Productions (Switzerland)
  • This film can be watched for a fee at the top.

Further reviews


Main topic(s): Natural Resources & Mining
Secondary topics: infrastructure recycling urban mining
Mentions: sand build concrete mafia beach resource sustainability development India China
Topic Page(s): Natural Resources & Mining The nominated films of past Films for the Earth Festivals.


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Entertainment value

Scientific & journalistic quality

Transfer of a momentum

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