Located on the shores of the Salton Sea, Bombay Beach is one of the poorest communities in Southern California. Once a beautiful vacation destination, the area has become a desolate wasteland of dead fish and extreme poverty. Bombay Beach turns an observant eye on the small community, following the trials and tribulations of three individuals. Benny, a young boy whose suffering from bipolar disorder; CeeJay Thompson, an aspiring football player who took refuge in Bombay Bach in an effort to avoid the same fate as his cousin, who was murdered by gang violence in Los Angeles; and Red, an ancient man, who has an inspiring love for life, even amidst the fact that cigarettes and whiskey are his main companions. Alma Har'el's Bombay Beach is a pensive look into a small world which tonally has much more in common with a poem than the straight-forward approach of most documentaries. The cinematography of the film is breathtaking, perfectly showing the beauty and struggle which takes place in these people's lives. There are moments which are captured on film that essentially capture humanity in ways that hard to put into words, leaving the viewer emotionally invested. Bombay Beach achieves the most important thing in creating a documentary like this, in that it transports the viewer into another world, never being exploitative, rather showing the subjects in a genuine, naturalistic way. A rather hypnotic experience, the film effectively captures the humanity and souls of these characters in both beautiful and resonant ways.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.