Grains of Sand movie preview & discussion (Berkeley in person)

Hand on a rockFilmed over eight years, Grains of Sand accompanies the filmmaker's mother and
mother-in-law, artists and close friends, as they enter their ninth decade.

Through conversation, memories and artwork, they explore together the lifelong project of becoming oneself.

Come meet Director/Producer Sarah Gross, visiting from Germany, see a rough cut of the movie, and talk about the issues it raises.

Note: Note new date: Friday, not Thursday. Advance RSVP Required. Access to the location requires climbing three steps. No smoking or pets/companion animals onsite. Please RSVP below. Light refreshments provided. While we have good air filtering in the Common House where well be meeting, please don’t come if you have any possible exposure to COVID or other ailments, or have any symptoms, regardless of test results. Masks recommended but not required.


Documentary 87 min. (in post production)
Sarah Gross, Director/Producer
Athena Kalkopoulou, Co-Producer
Bugle Films


Two older women sitting in a field

Margot & Barbara, close friends and artists, and the director’s mother & mother-in-law, meet for a work retreat in a stone farmhouse in the German countryside.  They are both on the cusp of their 9th decade. As they begin to work on the large stones they have brought to sculpt, they embark on a conversation about creativity and aging, exploring what it means for them to arrive at this stage of their lives. Their wrinkled hands become dusty as they scrape and chisel the stones with grace and strength.

Margot lives in San Francisco with her husband of over 60 years. In her studio she reflects on the struggle it took for her to maintain her painting practice as she navigated expectations as a wife and mother. She visits the gravesite she and her husband have chosen outside the city. On green sloping hills of the burial grounds in Marin, Margot imagines how it will be to live alone if Peter dies first. 

In her studio in Hamburg, mother-in-law Barbara explains how after her divorce she didn't have much money. She found a way to support herself with a part time job so that she would have time to paint every day. She hopes she can continue painting until her very last gasp. Barbara shares an apartment with her second husband, and observes how their relationship is changing now that they are approaching 80.

The farmhouse becomes a yearly ritual where the women share their pasts, discuss their artistic processes, and reflect on their changing roles as artists, women, and mothers. Margot and Barbara aren't looking back on their lives. They are living them.


January 26, 2024 at 2:00pm - 5pm
Berkeley Cohousing
2220 Sacramento St
Unit G (Common House with big mailbox)
Berkeley, CA 94702
United States
Google map and directions
Raines Cohen · · 510-842-6224
Charles Halpern Ellen Lewis Jill Battalen Lori Ellen T Dena Elfert Raines Cohen Alice Green Maria Sol Lisa Dettmer

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  • Charles Halpern
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  • Ellen Lewis
  • Jill Battalen
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  • Dena Elfert
  • Raines Cohen
  • Alice Green
  • Ingrid Kepler-May
  • Maria Sol
  • Lisa Dettmer
  • Raines Cohen