Bombay Beach

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Bombay Beach

Alma Har'el (2011)

80min
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Review

Our Score
A ragtag community on the shores of California's inland Salton Sea is the subject of Alma Har'el's documentary, which blends choreographed elements into an observational study of marginal lives. Once a rich man's paradise, Bombay Beach is now home to a motley collection of social misfits, including parents once jailed for setting up their own military training camp, an ornery old-timer selling bootlegged cigarettes, and a slightly bemused fugitive from South Central LA's deadly gang culture. Although this peek into other people's daily travails is moderately engrossing - mostly when the errant Parrish family's hyperactive young son Benny is on camera - former music video director Ha'rel often seems more interested in them as aesthetic objects than real individuals. At times she dissolves the line between film-maker and subject matter by arranging her cast in dances and tableaux reflecting their inner lives, a conceit which is occasionally visually striking but comes across as pretentious and superficial.

Summary

Documentary following life in a remote community on the edge of an inland lake in the Colorado desert. The film focuses on three residents at different stages in their lives - a bipolar boy with a vivid imagination, a teenager hoping to escape the gang culture that killed his cousin, and a retired oil field worker. Featuring original songs by Bob Dylan.

Cast & Crew

Director Alma Har'el

Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Dogwoof Released on: 3 Feb 2012

Documentary

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