Bombay Beach is a film set apart. Where most documentaries show us events as they really happened, give us facts and carefully sign-posted opinion, Bombay Beach weaves fact with imagination, pure observation with choreographed dance, reality with dreams. And in doing so finds a truth much greater than simple fact.
This is a film about the American Dream. Set in a decrepit 1950s Californian resort town (the Bombay Beach of the title) perched on the shore of a polluted inland sea, it follows Red, CeeJay and Benny – three men, of very different ages, with very different dreams. Red is an ex oil worker who now scrapes a living bootlegging cigarettes, he lives in Slab City, a gathering place for junkies and drop-outs, and wants nothing from life but to be left alone, to be free. CeeJay is a black teenager who has been sent away from LA in fear that he may suffer the same fate as his cousin, and be shot dead by warring youths. Benny – with whom it is impossible not to fall in love – is a child with a loving but alarming family and heavily medicated bi-polar disorder, who wants little more than to be normal, and to get to ride in a fire engine.
Through the lives of these three characters, through her own imaginings of their lives as dance, and with a soundtrack by Beirut’s Zach Condon and Bob Dylan, Director Alma Har’el paints a magical, dream-like picture of freedom, community and beauty in a desolate and hopeless world.
Here is an exclusive clip:
Bombay Beach is showing in cinemas around the country. For more information visit www.bombaybeachfilm.co.uk