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3th DMZ Docs(2011)

I AM DOCU



Bombay Beach

Alma Har'el

  • USA
  • 2011
  • 80min
  • HD
  • color

Synopsis

Bombay Beach is located along the Salton Sea in California. Nothing more than a shallow puddle that used to dry up completely during dry seasons, Salton Sea underwent massive engineering work in the early 20th century that changed the waterway for the purpose of drawing agricultural water. As a result, it became a gigantic lake 1.6 times the size of Seoul. People started to build resort sites around Bombay Beach and the Salton Sea to enjoy fishing, swimming and sailing. At one point this place, which earned the nickname ‘Heaven in the Desert’, even seemed to become a hotspot for speculation. But the waterway developed a blockage which corroded the lake and raised its salinity. And as factory waste flowing in from Mexico threatened the ecosystem, the beach has since the 1950s become a symbol of environmental hazard and a broken American Dream. Those who have remained are people with troubled histories - from ex-oil field workers who are now alcoholics to ex-gang members sickened by the level of violence and drugs they had to deal with in the city. Yet Bombay Beach is still known for its photogenic beach at sunset. While filming Zach Condon’s one-man band Beirut, director Alma Har'el was seduced by the beach’s unique landscape and inspired to make this film. And as she encountered the miserable lives of the residents there, the director incorporated her experience as a music video director to capture the clash between the two opposing images of the Bombay Beach. In particular, her treatment of the children’s dance sequence and use of music by Beirut and Bob Dylan, along with her liberal attempts to break away from documentary conventions, present themselves as a fresh approach to documentary filmmaking. (CHUN Jin-su)

Review

Director

  • Alma Har'el

    Born and raised in Israel, Alma Har’el began her work as a photographer and video artist. While working in New York and London, her live video-art performances with musicians led her to directing music videos. Her frequent collaborations with singer Zach Condon of the band Beirut brought her several nominations in film and music video festivals around the world.The video for Beirut’s Elephant Gun was chosen as one of the best videos of the decade in 2010 by several publications.Currently she lives in Los Angeles where she recently directed Bombay Beach, her first film.​  Sigur Rós: Fjögur píanó (2012)Bombay Beach (2011)Paul Smith: The Reddest Herring (2008)​ 

Credit

  • ProducerAlma HAR’EL
  • Cinematography Alma HAR’EL
  • Editor Alma HAR’EL
  • Music Zach CONDON
  • Sound Drohr MOHAR

Production Company / Address

Production Company  Bombay Beach Films LLC 

Address  11748 Mayfield Ave, Apt: 2, Los Angeles, CA 90049, USA

Tel  1 802 383 8993

E-mail  alexhulsey@gmail.com​