Sand Wars is a surprising investigation into one of the most consumed natural resources on the planet. Due to the high demand for sand, the planet’s reserves are being threatened. Three-quarters of the world’s beaches are in decline and bound to disappear as victims of erosion, or of sand smuggling.
Triggered by building construction, smuggling bands, or “sand mafias,” plunder beaches and rivers for this highly prized commodity. Sand has quietly infiltrated every corner of our world. Melted and transformed into glass, it sits on every shelf. It is also the source of silicon dioxide, a mineral found in our wines, cleaning products and detergents, paper, dehydrated foods, toothpaste, cosmetics and an astounding variety of other products we use on a daily basis.
Houses, skyscrapers, bridges, airports, and sidewalks are all partially comprised of sand. It is an elementary particle that is the foundation of our modern development. Sand is seen as a free material, a staple of holidays spent on the shore, in unlimited supply. But is this omnipresent material inexhaustible? Can the available quantity match an ever-increasing demand that is constantly fed by the need for human lodging and expansion? What will be the consequences of sand extraction on the environment and life on the planet? Sand Wars will take us around the world to witness this new gold rush firsthand.
France, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Morocco, Singapore, USA (FL, NC, CA), United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
Written and directed by Denis Delestrac.
Produced by Guillaume Rappeneau, Laurent Mini, Karim Samaï and Nathalie Barton.