October 14, 2011
Studio: Boaz Yakin Presents
Director: Alma Har’el
MPAA Rating: N/A
Official website: BombayBeachfilm.com
The film is a compassionate, gorgeously photographed chronicle of a colorful California desert community living on the fringes of the lost American dream. Set to evocative music by Beirut and Bob Dylan and punctuated with dream-like choreographed interludes, "Bombay Beach" is one of the most strikingly original documentaries of recent years. In the middle of the Californian desert lies the state's largest lake, the man-made Salton Sea, which in the 1950s was a popular vacation destination surrounded by restaurants, shops and nightclubs. Decades later, the lake has largely dried up and the resort haven of Bombay Beach has crumbled into a desolate ghost town populated by a curious blend of migrants and vagrants. Red is a tough octogenarian cigarette bootlegger beloved by the desert rats who populate his shanty town. Benny is an imaginative bipolar 7-year-old, reunited with his parents after they've spent time in prison for harboring weapons. CeeJay is a black highschool football star who has relocated to Bombay Beach to escape the gang violence that plagues his native South Central LA. Har'el creates of these stories a mesmerizing portrait, a stylized amalgam of vérité documentary and choreographed dance pieces that results in a truly singular cinematic experience.