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Everyone Their Grain of Sand
A film by Beth Bird
2005, 87 minutes, Color, DVD, Subtitled (Spanish)
Order No. W06898
This award-winning documentary reveals the struggles of the citizens of Maclovio Rojas in Tijuana, Mexico as they battle the state government’s attempts to evict them from their homes to make way for multi-national corporations seeking cheap land and labor. Filmmaker Beth Bird followed the fiercely determined residents for three years as they persistently petitioned the state for basic services like running water, electricity and pay for their teachers, only to be met with bureaucratic stonewalling. Eventually, several community leaders are targeted for persecution, and one is arrested while others are forced into hiding.

Balancing these stories of hardship, Bird also captures intimate scenes of daily life in Maclovio Rojas, revealing hard-won triumphs such as the building of a school by hand and the graduation of an elementary school class. This compelling and ultimately inspiring documentary is an eye-opening look at the human cost of globalization and a moving testament to the power of grassroots activism.


Los Angeles Film Festival, Jury Award Best Doc
San Diego Int'l FF, San Diego Feature Film Award
Oxnard Int'l Film Fest, Festival Favorite Award

  • Vienna Int'l Film Festival
  • Puerto Vallarta Film Festival
  • Brooklyn Int'l Film Fest
  • Museum of Modern Art, NY
  • One World Film Festival, Berlin
  • Human Rights Film Festival, Los Angeles
  • DocNZ Int'l Doc FF, New Zealand

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    “…a return to unvarnished, passionate documentary filmmaking. EVERYONE THEIR GRAIN OF SAND is an engrossing look at issues of corporate power and international politics as they bear down on the lives of ordinary citizens. With a deceptive simplicity, this film captures the courage and resilience of those who rise up to ‘fight the power.'”
    Los Angeles Film Festival Target Documentary Award Jury

    "stirring....a gorgeous demonstration of people power."
    Chuck Wilson
    LA Weekly

    “a fascinating chronicle of community activism...”
    Jonny Leahan

    “A unique and groundbreaking film, EVERYONE THEIR GRAIN OF SAND is the closest one can come to actually being in a poor urban neighborhood in Mexico- a remarkable accomplishment. It shows the searing Catch-22s of the intersections of struggles for survival with dignity among the poor, the politics of economic development along an international border, and the impacts of corruption and power politics among city and state leaders. Strongly recommended for courses in Latin American Studies, economic development, social movements, and comparative politics.”
    Vivienne Bennett
    Border and Regional Studies, California State University, San Marcos.

    “A gritty ethnographic tale about the struggles of community organizers in Tijuana, An excellent view of the way local politics and corruption work, and how popular solidarity can offer meaningful challenges to them…”
    Nancy Postero
    UCSD Anthropology

    "Heartbreaking yet ultimately triumphant, EVERYONE THEIR GRAIN OF SAND reveals the ingenuity, tenacity, and courage of a community fighting for survival in the margins of globalization. Strongly recommended for courses in women and labor studies."
    T. Kim-Trang Tran
    Scripps College

    "***1/2. Highly Recommended…Stirring…An engrossing film about the sometimes devastating human cost of economic globalization."
    Video Librarian

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    Everyone Their Grain of Sand is included in the following Special Collections.
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