Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Documentary
  • 2011
  • 80 mins

Bombay Beach

Bombay Beach

Synopsis

Alma Har'el's part-choreographed documentary about a group of people living at the fringes of the American Dream in a once-glitzy lakeside resort in California.

About

For her feature debut, Israeli photographer and video artist Alma Har'el drew on the same innovative flair she had already demonstrated in her music videos for Sigur Ros and Beirut to create this boundary-pushing documentary. Set in the impoverished southern Californian community that gives the film its name, Har'el follows - and occasionally prompts - three local residents with her camera, gradually revealing the truth and tragedy behind their tales.

There's Benny, a bipolar boy struggling to master his condition with the help of his family, young black teen CeeJay, who moved to Bombay Beach to escape the inner-city gangs, and the eternally-optimistic ex-oil field worker Red, who spends his days swilling whiskey and philosophising on life.

Har'el never once patronises her subjects, and the Bob Dylan and Beirut-heavy soundtrack makes for arresting accompaniment to the rundown backdrops.

Cast & Connections

  • Director: Alma Har'el

In a nutshell

A fascinating, experimental documentary and a touching portrait of a section of California whose voice is seldom heard.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 The Sitter

    The Sitter

    Jonah Hill stars as a slacker who's forced to fill in as a babysitter for a night, but the kids he's looking after prove more than he can handle when he takes them on a crime-filled trip through NYC

  • Film4 Amy

    Amy

    Senna director Asif Kapadia tells the story of Amy Winehouse in her own words with the use of unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks

  • Film4 Evil Dead

    Saturday Night Shocks on Film4

    Horror, mystery and suspense stake its claim on the weekend. A new season of Saturday Night Shocks comes to Film4.

  • Film4 Bridesmaids

    Comedy Season 2015 on Film4

    Eight nights of contemporary comedy hits, including first plays of Cuban Fury, American Reunion, The Sitter, and the network premiere of 21 & Over, on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Top pop moments from Cannes 2015

    Cannes is always a great place to see and hear brilliant pop music, often divorced from its usual context, and 2015 has been no different. Here's my personal playlist of top pop moments from the Compe

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Critics' Week: Day Seven - Krisha

    Catherine Bray adds to a growing chorus of acclaim for Trey Edward Shults' Krisha, a feature film backed on Kickstarter to the tune of  $14,260, which went on to win the Grand Jury Award at SXSW [cap

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share