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Bombay Beach

3.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Visionary director Alma Har el presents a beautiful and moving portrait of a forgotten California tourist town, weaving together the stories of its inhabitants with surreal poetry and beauty.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Alma Har'el
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005OTGRZE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,701 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 3, 2012
Format: DVD
The unusual and visually arresting documentary "Bombay Beach" offers a unique slice-of-life approach to its subjects that makes for an intimacy and immediacy that is quite unexpected. As the Salton Sea area of California evolved from an upscale tourist resort in the fifties to near desolation sixty years later, I anticipated that this was to be a document of that downward transitioning. It's not, however. So anyone expecting a traditional documentary feature about the area and its history is sure to be disappointed. But that's not to say that the film is a complete write-off, far from it. It just may not meet your initial expectations, but offers something even more rewarding. It showcases a world of isolationism, poverty, and decay that is haunting, disturbing, and undeniably memorable. The citizens that still inhabit the area are an eclectic group. Many might be considered societal misfits, some are just struggling to rebuild their lives, and some are striving for success and opportunity beyond the Salton Sea.

"Bombay Beach" follows three residents (or families) that live in the area. One family has lived on the fringes of society for many years, coming up on the wrong side of the law and child welfare services as often as not. They, however, are attempting a new leaf. One participant is an elderly hard-living gentleman who thrives in this impoverished community--reflecting back on his early years, but relishing every day he has left. He is very popular as a purveyor of convenient smokes. And the third subject is a high school student who escaped the gangland dangers of Los Angeles to have a more solid and safer start. He dreams of utilizing his experiences as the star of the small local football team to capture NFL glory.
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Format: DVD
"Bombay Beach" is that rare film that attempts to be something truly new. And it succeeds. The documentary genre is an important one, but it tends to take itself too seriously these days. Whether it's the muckraking of Michael Moore or the We-Know-What's-Good-For-Your patronizing of Frontline, documentary films have become cliches that too often play it safe with conventional shooting, editing, and storytelling. "Bombay Beach" is poetic and lyrical and all the things that naysayers will condemn it for being. But, in my opinion, that's a good thing. Some of the most meaningful non-fiction stories come in the form of poems and songs and dances. This film deftly combines the best of many artistic genres into a compelling, stunning story of real people in a real town dealing with real problems.
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Format: Amazon Video
This won best doc at TRIBECA FILM FEST. It's a stunning, warm and heartbreaking documentary that follows a group of unique people - each with their own dreams - living at The Salton Sea. Wonderfully inventive, beautifully shot and a portrait of people you won't soon forget. Really worth a watch.
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Format: DVD
I was lucky enough to catch this film in it's limited release in theater and am so happy I did. I wasn't sure what to expect and even if I had, I think I got much more than I ever could have asked for. First off, this film is gorgeous, every shot in itself is a piece of art. The film is shot with so much care for the individuals in it that immediately you are invested in their stories. This is an unconventional documentary that has small bit of choreographed dance throughout that only pulls you deeper into the story and enhances the film in ways you definitely could not expect. If you want to watch a film that breaks all the norms and delivers a beautiful story that will resonate with you long after it ends, I highly recommend Bombay Beach. Easily the best doc I have seen of 2011.
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Format: DVD
A wonderful movie. Bombay Beach allows us to enter the world of the forgotten around the Salton Sea. Like a fly on the wall, the director shows a segment of American society many will never see. There is no judgement, no answers, but there is humanity and reality. The use of music and dance is woven seamlessly into the piece. Bombay Beach is often sad and gutwrenching, but ultimately uplifting, showing the spirit of each person to rise above what he or she has been dealt.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The ugly truth is that although there is a lot of haunting natural and unnatural beauty at the Salton Sea, you won't find it at Bombay Beach. This is a place that attracts people who are either in hiding, stranded by lack of money to leave, stuck with their messed-up families, or trapped by some type of addiction or another. These are the kinds of real live people profiled and filmed in Bombay Beach. Before I go further, I want to point out that Niland, Slab City, and Salvation Mountain are NOT part of the ugly Bombay Beach, but are in this movie, giving it a little more human interest.
My issue with this film more than anything is that it shows the state of the foster care system and how it fails kids. Even though the mother of five in this documentary seems to be trying to do better since her release from prison for neglect, her husband is not, and the kids are still being neglected and raised in a horrible environment, with drugs and alcohol all around, and there is not much hope for their futures if they remain there. The youngest son's '"special needs" take all the mother's time, and even if this wasn't the case, these kids are all probably doomed. This really sucks, because in southern California there are SO many people who are waiting to adopt and give kids a better life. And then if and when they are finally removed from bad homes and the parents permanently, they have serious emotional problems. I hope that the proper authorities saw this movie and took some action for the kids in this family!!! At the the en of 'Bombay Beach', the mother announces to the youngest kid that mommy has a baby in her belly!!! They ought to put the father BACK IN PRISON!
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