A Grain of Sand

A Grain of Sand

2009, Nature  -   108 Comments
7.99
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Ratings: 7.99/10 from 76 users.

A Grain of SandThis is the story of one man and an island. Brendon Grimshaw purchased the island in 1962 and set about making the island habitable. He did this with the help of one other man, Rene Antoine Lafortune.

Brendon Grimshaw, a British national, was editor to some of the most important newspapers in Africa. But in 1972, he gave it all up to go and live on Moyenne Island, which he purchased for ten thousand pounds.

In the thirty-six-years that he has lived on the island, Brendon and his friend, Rene Lafortune, planted sixteen-thousand trees, built 4,8 kilometers of nature paths, and brought and bred 109 giant land tortoises, creating an island of incredible beauty now worth 34 million Euros.

Come with us on this journey and discover why an 82-year-old man fears his island will one day be destroyed. Produced by Wandering Eye Productions.

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Rachie
Rachie
2 years ago

Beautiful island kept beautiful with their hearts & souls fully in it, They worked hard and achieved something wonderful for many people to enjoy just the way it is. A great movie and happy to know it is a natural park . Both Brendon & Rene made a mark for sure.

FG
FG
3 years ago

His goal was be happy ,and he was, i respect that;every day more ,and more people abandon civilization if we can call this civilization, my wife wants to give up everything and hit the road,almost 90 % we will .

Ali
Ali
8 years ago

Great documentary loved it!

Stin
Stin
10 years ago

Why such a high cost to do nothing to it? Why does leaving things to naturally grow cost money???

Have we been so indoctrinated to think that we need to intervene all the time.. Grrrr.

Stin
Stin
10 years ago

The tourism industry IS fake.

Stin
Stin
10 years ago

I could not imagine a truer existence. An example of true humanty. An inspiration to every man woman and child on this Earth.

PS: Why do business men only think of the damned money??

May
May
10 years ago

I was quite sad watching it. Such a stunning island. I wish that people could still see the beauty of nature. Yet more & more it is just greed. Joni Mitchell's Paved paradise kept playing in my head. I can't even tell you how happy I was to see the end.

Alv V
Alv V
10 years ago

I hope that place will remain as it is.

Martes Mar
Martes Mar
10 years ago

If Only there are more of us, who have the same respect for our planet and our natural environment, we could have it all. Our children would be proud of us ,instead of disgusted , by the destruction we are presently doing to the Planet Mother Earth . It is devastating to watch the way we are destroying Nature and all the animals too.

Anna Kirby-Bailey
Anna Kirby-Bailey
11 years ago

You will be sadly missed RIP

Patrick Hamilton
Patrick Hamilton
11 years ago

Travel well, Mr. Grimshaw......the world needs people like you now more than ever.....RIP....

Michael Silverman
Michael Silverman
11 years ago

RIP Brendon

Paulina Plezia
Paulina Plezia
11 years ago

Yeah, there are already probably about a million hotels around the world. Leave the Seychelles alone...

DigiWongaDude
DigiWongaDude
11 years ago

The people of Seychelles are so beautiful, gentle, kind and polite... and you can see it here so clearly. The west will tempt and persuade and promise with sincerity, not to spoil or destroy, pollute or betray. But 4 tiny islands, with white golden sands and crystal clear water somehow require 259 swimming pools to improve things. Very impolite, unkind, ungentle and ugly.

John Hofmann IV
John Hofmann IV
11 years ago

The idea was great, but the whole process of how he developed the island was excluded. This was a significant error of the producer(s). The never-ending discussion about conservation and greedy capitalists also completely overshadowed this man's amazing accomplishment.

In addition, the music and discussions didn't flow, and it was quite apparent that the producer(s) should have taken advice from those who were more mature and experienced.

It's a shame actually that this documentary wasn't developed in a way that appealed to many viewers. As I often say to myself while golfing, "Great shot, wrong direction."

bye_bags
bye_bags
11 years ago

The "background" music is everywhere but in the background. I watched this video in spite of the music.

Fiachra Mac Allister
Fiachra Mac Allister
11 years ago

beautiful

Del Morrison
Del Morrison
11 years ago

Its sad in 30 years that island will be under water

Happy Balikid
Happy Balikid
11 years ago

''a true hero of nature."

abner holtiton
abner holtiton
11 years ago

i feel sad efter watching this doc, hopefully this island wil be saved.

Jdove13
Jdove13
11 years ago

Craig Helgerson: - "I felt awful about how much habitat and vegetation was destroyed by one single individual. Seems like a means of being environmentally self righteous."

What are you talking about?
Did you not listen to the bit where he talked about there not being hardly any trees on the island until they begun planting them? Then the birds arrived. Then they brought over Giant Tortoises which now live happily on the island away from the dangers of the rest of the world where they have become significantly endangered.

When you do something like provide thousands of animals a natural habitat to live in, and refuse 24,000,000£ so that future generations might benefit, then you can say that this incredible man is being "self righteous".

Fantastic little documentary. Not brilliantly directed unfortunately. Would loved to have known a little more about Brendon's lifestyle, what he eats, his daily routine etc. But those guys are young. Hopefully they can do a follow up doc in a few years.

Dawkins
Dawkins
11 years ago

I really liked this documentary, it hit a nerve. People destroy the planet in order to make money, money to buy things we think will bring happiness. I don't think you can buy happiness.

Micky Martin
Micky Martin
11 years ago

Good inspiration but bad direction.
Give us a ******* tour of the island, tell us how Brendon managed to live alone on this island, what's does he eat and what are the survival skills?

Craig Helgerson
Craig Helgerson
11 years ago

Brendon has an awful big environmental "footprint" there...to contrast the island of "one" to a major city (of 500,000 - 1,000,000 residents seems like a manipulation of reality...I felt awful about how much habitat and vegetation was destroyed by one single individual. Seems like a means of being environmentally self righteous.

Pace Freeman
Pace Freeman
11 years ago

wonderful..... :-)

Alex Hanin
Alex Hanin
11 years ago

Terrible documentary, terrible "director".

Edward Honda
Edward Honda
11 years ago

the island needs more chicks

sknb
sknb
11 years ago

Only a few jewels of green left
floating in the black oil ocean
surrounded by the last drops of crystal blue
birds singing
birds screaming
don't let it go
don't let it go

Cristi Vidrascu
Cristi Vidrascu
11 years ago

This guy lived the capitalist's dream: he used the capital he had (money but more importantly the human capital, that is, his skills, enthusiasm, and time) and he created something out of nothing, and made it productive. He did so without much government interference and bureaucracy, no norms on how many hours should be worked, etc. It's a shame these movie producers used this guy's work for their leftist propaganda, rather than focus on his story and that of the island. I only hope that private property rights will be respected, and after he dies, the successor will run the island according to Brendon's wishes, without all the city-dwelling environmentalists and do-gooders offering advice from their lofty places.

MD
MD
11 years ago

Just incredible and quite inspirational but just pray there is no oil beneath the Island

Jayjay30
Jayjay30
11 years ago

That island is not worth the billions that those so called investor/developers are offering. It's got a sentimental value which one can only experience once they visit it . As usual The so called developers want to put a price on the priceless.

Leslie
Leslie
11 years ago

It's in national park status now, I am certain this means it will or is actually property of the UN, the UN of all things, unbelievable, they will not have his wishes at heart in the future, I think he spent too much time away from civilization, surely if he knew what was happening in the world, the UN would be the last to be entrusted with this earthly heaven.

SavannahVegan Kronson Bach
SavannahVegan Kronson Bach
11 years ago

I can listen to this guy for hours .... what a genuine, wonderful soul. What a special and blessed journey he has been allowed to travel in his life. Truly marvellous to see a little bit of good being done in such a selfish and destructive world.

durruti1936
durruti1936
11 years ago

Anyone concerned with the fate of this island may want to check out the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Indigenous Hawaiians have been forced to the peripherals of their own homeland, most family's eek out a meager existence living in poverty. Hawaiians make very little money off the tourist trade, while major hotels and resorts capitalize off the low wages paid to natives. While wealthy people develop million dollar houses they simultaneously drive up the price of land, and they ensure that Hawaii will never belong to Hawaiians. Hawaiians have occupied beaches in Oahu and won 45 acres from the state to live traditionally and to open their own school in order teach the Hawaiian language to their children, as well as their traditional way of life. I believe that an entire culture is worth more attention than a man and an island that could accommodate hundreds of refugees from third world conflicts. What gives any person the right to own more land than they need. We must focus on helping our brothers and sisters versus a novel idea of keeping an island pristine. Only our sense of humanity and solidarity with the dispossessed and most exploited of this world will bring about progress. Please stand with the native Hawaiians in their struggle to reclaim their culture, heritage, and existence.

Will Coles
Will Coles
11 years ago

Take a look at it on Google Earth & you'll see what can happen to it so easily!

The neighbouring island a few hundred metres away has been 'developed' for cabins with connecting roads tearing down at least a quarter of the trees & shrubs. All three of the surrounding islands have resorts & restaurants (!) on them & have very little tree cover.

Very sad that every island must be owned & tamed by someone & not allowed to just exist or be a sanctuary for nature from man.

capdanks30
capdanks30
11 years ago

Why can't the have tenting on the island with no alcohol or nosie rules.Then the common man and family can view nature.It should not cost 2000 a night.40 is enough to support the island.

Put the tents up on platforms.

Leslie
Leslie
11 years ago

How can you put a price tag or dollar value on having your own island surrounded by nature. I wouldn't have guessed one could find your own island anymore. I'm drooling, I would disappear and never have been seen again if I had the chance, of course friends would always be welcome & my cats would have to adjust :)

James Baker
James Baker
11 years ago

i was really looking forward to watching this until the makers kept cutting Brendan. the 2 most interesting subjects (Brendan and the island) had very little to do with the whole thing and the majority was a bunch of other un interesting talking heads and a pointless school visit.

what about Lafortune??? i wanted to hear about how he achieved it, trials and tribulations.....PIRATE GRAVES!!! politicians do not capture my imagination. More about some of the other species he introduced, maybe about some that didnt work.

i understood the underlying message of conservation but this should have been last but not least. really felt like the makers were totally undermining and if i was Brendan i'd be a little insulted.

Warren Gates
Warren Gates
11 years ago

Pretty soon, perhaps the nature of the island will become more desirable than some commercial development and both parties can be satisfied.

zaphodity
zaphodity
11 years ago

Development my ass !!!..How would you like it if some greedy bureaucrats wanted to tear down your home and build a back packer hostel or a caravan park ? No friggin' way man. Get it heritage listed, turned into a national park or something, anything but a high priced flop house for the rich people of the world.

Jack1952
Jack1952
11 years ago

A great watch. I don't understand why there can't be room for both economic development and for this island as it is. I know there are speculators who are salivating over the projected profits to be made from developing this place, but I'm sure he could sell this property with the provision that it not be changed. It would be in the best interests of the Seychelles and their eco-tourist economy to maintain areas of a pristine nature.

I have to admit that when he mentioned the mahogany trees he planted the first thing I thought of was how beautiful the wood is and what I would love to make with it. Working with wood and making small furniture has been a hobby of mine. Using mahogany in rough construction would be a waste. It is best suited for the smaller and finer items that we prize. However, on this island, it would be best to just let the trees grow and only use the wood if a trees dies of natural causes.

Imightberiding
Imightberiding
11 years ago

Brilliant doc... indeed, Brendon Grimshaw is most certainly a man I would very much like to meet.

Oliver Smith
Oliver Smith
11 years ago

I totally disagree with one thing he said... He is not a normal guy! He is an amazing guy!!!...and we need more of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a blinding watch... cheers TDF and cheers Brendan ;-)

sknb
sknb
11 years ago

Fantastic Documentary. This is why I keep coming to this website.

Beautiful and Powerful. Interesting and Meaningful.

Guest
Guest
11 years ago

Why is it that i can't start this documentary somewhere in the middle? Is there a trick?
az

Guest
Guest
11 years ago

Beautiful DOC....a+
When Brendon got the island, life trusted him with it. He now has to trust that he can find the right person to pass it on. I say don't sell it, give it, it was never really yours anyway. Do it before you die. No one can decide anything for this island while he is alive and no one could decide anything for this island if and when he finds the right new owner.
He does say at the beginning of the doc something in the line of The island has a mind of it's own. Prove it to yourself!
az

PavolvsBitch
PavolvsBitch
11 years ago

The IMF private banking mafia always extract their pound of flesh in interest inflated loans; old as the hills, worldwide genocide. I wonder if Brendon is at peace with the new arrangement; would have been interesting to catch up with him a couple of years on. what he achieved is inspiring, useful and above all, natural.

Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson
11 years ago

The world's perverse state of affairs originates with the perversion of language. Am I the only one who noticed the mangled use of the word "privatization" at the beginning? Developers utilizing corrupt government-partnered banks and their phoney debt based currencies (at the expense of honest hardworking local populations on such islands and abroad) has nothing to do with private ownership. Brendon Grimshaw, on the other hand, is an example of true private ownership! The miraculous element at play in the story is that his PRIVATE OWNERSHIP RIGHTS were respected all those years. Institutional (governmental or corporate/governmental) trespass, control and destruction of local peoples' property rights (what rights?) is what the documentarians are referring to at the start of this film---true private ownership (and others' respect for it) was the blessing that made Moyenne Island the spectacle it is today.

Rocky Racoon
Rocky Racoon
11 years ago

He will probably be underwater in another 20 years many of these islands are going to disappear due to the arctic ice melt thanks to global warming so there is no getting away. I know if i was a billionaire I would have a bunker somewhere fully loaded to last a few centuries with everything from hydroponics to nuclear power if I could get it which I am sure with that kind of money I could. We are pretty close to the end. Canada did not have a winter this year and I am 57 years old our fruit tree harvest and others is not going to happen I wonder how many other food crops were destroyed this year with early bloom then a frost and I can well imagine the heat this year. I doubt if we will have a blue sky all summer with all the chem trails. They stopped spraying 2 weeks before Christmass last year....and from now on everyday no matter how hot always overcast skies. Not good.
RR

PavolvsBitch
PavolvsBitch
11 years ago

this is madness, this argument for 'benefitting the economy and environment as an economic profit centre'. The money of rich people will ensure that they continue to invest in Monsanto, BP, Warfare. Just because it's profitable to something called 'the economy' (rich man's club) in no way justifies their position. This man will be taken out unless he complies. That's what happens when an individual builds something of real worth; the mafia come calling with their big guns. As they say, no man is an island. But perhaps that's the lie; as each wombman is an island with boundaries, customs, unique characteristics and PRIVACY from invasion, intrusion with strong defences against pyracy and destruction. No place in a hive mind 'utopian' playgrounds for the criminal rich.