Watch Bombay Beach
- 1 hr 20 min
Bombay Beach is a 2011 documentary film directed by Israeli filmmaker Alma Har'el. The film is set in the Salton Sea area in California, which was once a thriving resort town but has since become a desolate wasteland. The documentary follows the lives of three individuals from different generations who are living in Bombay Beach - a young boy named Benny, a former oil worker named Red, and a retired Black American soldier named CeeJay. Benny is a hyperactive child who lives with his family in a dilapidated trailer home. He spends most of his free time riding his bike around the desolate landscape, playing with his dog, and hanging out with his best friend. Benny suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and is on medication, but it doesn't seem to have much impact on his behavior. Red is an elderly man who has lived in Bombay Beach for over 50 years. He worked in the oil fields before they closed down, and now he spends his days fishing and reflecting on his past. Despite his age, Red still dreams of finding another job to provide for himself and his family. He is a symbol of the town's decline from a prosperous resort to a forgotten corner of America. CeeJay is a retired Black American soldier who struggles to adjust to civilian life. He moved to Bombay Beach with his girlfriend and her family, but he finds it difficult to connect with the locals due to his race. He spends most of his time drinking and partying, and he eventually has a run-in with the law. The film is shot in an experimental style that blends documentary and artistic elements. Har'el uses music and dance to convey the characters' emotions and experiences. She also includes dream sequences and surreal images to add a sense of fantasy to the film's bleak setting. While the film follows the lives of the three main characters, it also explores the history and culture of the Salton Sea area. The Salton Sea is a man-made lake that was formed when the Colorado River flooded the area in the early 1900s. The lake was turned into a popular resort destination in the 1950s but has since become polluted and abandoned. It is home to a variety of unique and often bizarre creatures, such as tilapia fish, which thrive in the lake's saltwater conditions. Throughout the film, Har'el juxtaposes the town's decay with the beauty of the surrounding landscape. She captures stunning shots of the desert landscape, the Salton Sea, and the dilapidated buildings that dot the town. The film's cinematography is one of its strongest aspects, and it has been praised for its haunting and dreamlike imagery. Overall, Bombay Beach is a moving and poetic documentary that explores the lives of people living on the margins of society. It is a unique and artistic portrayal of a forgotten corner of America, and it offers a powerful commentary on the human condition. The film has won numerous awards, including the Best Documentary Feature at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.