Grit chronicles a community’s response to one of the word’s largest man-made environmental disasters: a giant unstoppable mud volcano in Indonesia that has displaced 50,000 people.

Grit is the story of a community’s response to one of the biggest man-made environmental disasters in the world – a giant, unstoppable mud volcano in Indonesia – as experienced by three families who lost their homes to the mud and are banding together to rebuild their lives. 

In 2006, Lapindo, an Indonesian multinational corporation drilling for natural gas, struck a massive underground mud volcano in East Java, and unleashed an explosion of mud that buried 16 villages and forced massive evacuations. Today, below this cracked moonscape, dozens of factories and thousands of homes are buried deep under the mud. Neighbors Hori, Harwati and Budi work on top of this vast lunar landscape as tourist guides in order to make a few dollars a day for their families.  Over miles of muddy wasteland, art installations and fashion photography sessions have created a scrappy and inventive otherworld, where activism, art and commerce slam into each other in a post-apocalyptic expanse.

As the mudflow survivors fight for compensation from Lapindo, they participate in an historic presidential election where only one candidate promises justice and restitution for the victims. In the world’s third largest democracy, this election offers hope, but is real change possible?


Premieres & Awards

Winner, Best Documentary

Espiello Festival Internacional 2021

Winner, Best Cinematography

Copenhagen Film Festival 2020

Nominee, Outstanding Sound

Emmy Awards

Best Film Award

Patagonia Environmental Film Festival 2020

Official Selection

HotDocs 2018

Official Selection

DOC NYC 2018