Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bombay Beach - 2011 - Dir. Har'el

Har'el popped up on a list of new filmmakers to keep and eye on. I'm a fan of Beirut's music and the trailer looked interesting enough so I made a point to see the film when I had a chance. And I'm glad I did! It follows the lives of three people who live in one of the poorest communities in Southern California. The area looks like a barren wasteland, desert as far as the eye can see littered with the decaying remains of society. The film is filled with the skeletons of cars, trailers, homes, and animals. Dead Fish everywhere. A Donkey corpse tangled in barb wire. There's some pretty gritty stuff. Meanwhile, we have a young boy on a plethora of prescription meds raised by his ex-militia parents, an old man who barely manages to take care of himself selling bags of cigarettes, and a teen for South Central with dreams to play for the NFL. It's beautifully shot and balances its seriousness and playfulness beautifully. Probably the most interesting aspect of the film is the infusion of choreographed sequences. All of a sudden, these people begin to dance or... well, they have their own little music videos. They could have come off as excessive or cheap but Alma pulls it off well. They feel like personal and intimate expressions of the subjects. A very well-balanced and engaging documentary.

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