Bombay Beach: A documentary-record-cum-drama with dreamlike musical elements describing a small community on the fringes of the lost American dream, and the dreamers who populate its surreal and poetic landscape. Bombay Beach is one of the poorest communities in southern California located on the shores of the Salton Sea, a man-made sea stranded in the middle of the Colorado desert that was once a beautiful vacation destination for the privileged and is now a pool of dead fish.
“It takes a community to raise a child. But you have to remember, even the some of the best raised children can turn bad.”
Film director Alma Har’el tells the story of three protagonists. The trials of Benny Parrish, a young boy diagnosed with bipolar disorder whose troubled soul and vivid imagination create both suffering and joy for him and his complex and loving family.
The story of CeeJay Thompson, a black teenager and aspiring football player who has taken refuge in Bombay Beach hoping to avoid the same fate of his cousin who was murdered by a gang of youths in Los Angeles; and that of Red, an ancient survivor, once an oil field worker, living on the fumes of whiskey, cigarettes and an irrepressible love of life.
Together these portraits form a triptych of manhood in its various ages and guises, in a gently hypnotic style that questions whether they are a product of their world or if their world is a construct of their own imaginations. The narratives are interspersed with choreographed sequences in which the protagonists dance — to music specially composed for the film by Zach Condon of the band Beirut and songs by Bob Dylan.
Make sure to check out Live The Dream Films for other documentaries and Social Filmmaking activities.