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Directed by Alma Har'el
FEATURE DOCUMENTARY 80 Minutes North American Premiere

The rusting relic of a failed 1960s development boom, the Salton Sea is a barren Californian landscape often seen as a symbol of the failure of the American Dream. First-time director Alma Har'el revisits this poetically fruitful terrain in her distinctive documentary Bombay Beach, and finds there a motley cast including a bipolar seven-year-old, a lovelorn high school football star, and an octogenarian poet-prophet. Together they make up a triptych of American manhood in its decisive moments, populating the Salton Sea's land of thwarted opportunity.

True to her roots as a photographer, video artist, and music video director, Har'el crafts here an adamantly atypical and artistically innovative film—a dreamlike poem that sets the personal stories of these distinctive yet familiar characters to a stylized amalgam of observational documentary and choreographed dance, with music by Beirut and Bob Dylan, all cast against the atmospheric scenery of the titular ghost town. The result is a moving and surreal documentary experience—an evocative, symbolic portrait of rural America and its inhabitants.

Female Director(s), Documentary
About the Director(s)
ALMA HAR'EL was born and raised in Tel Aviv, where she worked as a photographer and video artist. Her frequent collaborations on music videos with singer Zach Condon of the band Beirut brought her several nominations in festivals around the world. Her work is recognized for its expression through modern dance, character, and landscape. This is her first feature film.
Special Note

Bombay Beach was named World Documentary Competition Award Winner, and will have two additional screenings on Sunday, May 1. Learn more.

Bombay Beach is co-hosted by

Film Info
  • Section:
    World Documentary Competition
  • Year:
  • Length:
    80 minutes
  • Language:
  • Country:
  • Premiere:
    North American
  • Connect:
Cast & Credits
  • Primary Cast:
    Benny Parrish, Pamela Parrish, Mike Parrish, Doran "Red" Furgie, Cedric Thompson
  • Director:
    Alma Har'el
  • Producer:
    Boaz Yakin, Alma Har'el
  • Editor:
    Joe Lindquist
  • Director of Photography:
    Alma Har'el
  • Supervising Sound Editor:
    Dror Mohar
  • Sound Designer:
    Dror Mohar
  • Choreography:
    Paula Present



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