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Bombay Beach

 
Bombay Beach

(Bombay Beach) Director: Alma Har´el, USA - IL, 2011, English version / Czech subtitles, 74 min

In her visually engrossing documentary debut, Israeli director Alma Har’el introduces us to Salton Sea, an artificial lake in the middle of the California desert. Dubbed the “American dream gone horribly awry,” this bizarre and uninhabitable place is filled with poor and unemployed families. Take Parrish´s family, whose love of weapons led to a prison sentence after the FBI suspected them of being terrorists. Despite their criminal past, Parrish´s is the best caregiver to seven-year-old Benny, who suffers from mental illness. Then there’s CeeJay, who escaped gang life in his native Los Angeles; his way out is by fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional football player. On the flip side, the energetic patriarch Red has no plans to abandon the harsh life in Bombay Beach. Sensitively selected moments from the day-to-day lives of the protagonists are overlaid with evocative songs by Bob Dylan and Beirut, with several sequences reflecting Har’el’s other career as a music video director.


 

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