Ray Unit explodes a smoke bomb at a famous war monument, minutes before the annual commemoration celebrations. This act of individual violence mobilizes the State's massive surveillance system. We observe, as it pursues and reconstructs the course of Unit's subsequent actions. "AGAINST THE GRAIN achieves a potent immediacy – it's like a cross between Newsreel's AMERICA 1969, Godard's NUMERO DEUX, and B-movies' THE OFFENDERS – with a jolting style that keeps you working and thinking throughout... My point is that it's not utopian to imagine that movies on Nicaragua could be made with the formal energy and moment-to-moment unpredictability of AGAINST THE GRAIN." – J. Hoberman, THE VILLAGE VOICE, February, 1981. "Using non-actors and volatile material, including Vietnam newsreels and images of bomb-making, Burns' disjointed style exacerbates the dilemma of taking individualistic political action." – Renee Shafransky, THE VILLAGER. "AGAINST THE GRAIN is a film full of humor and horror, wrenching the audience this way and that with its fractured use of sound and image. It explores its own limitations as a political film and some people will find it pretentious for doing so. For me, the film's critical ambivalence about the posture of the political artist in a culture which has little place for such a creature is one of the most convincing statements in an impressive and exciting piece of work." – Meaghan Morris, The SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.