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Sand Wars

Sand seems quite insignificant, yet those grains of silica surround and impact our lives. Every house, skyscraper and glass building, every bridge, airport and sidewalk depends on sand. We use it to manufacture optical fiber, cell phone components and computer chips and even in our glass of wine (both the glass and the wine, as a finishing 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.

Directed by Denis Delestrac. Produced by Guillaume Rappeneau.

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