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Bombay Beach
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Bombay Beach (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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Bombay Beach -- A documentary-record-cum-drama with dreamlike musical elements describing a small community on the fringes of the lost American dream, and the dreamers who populate its surreal and poetic landscape.

Bombay Beach is one of the poorest communities in southern California located on the shores of the Salton Sea, a man-made sea stranded in the middle of the Colorado desert that was once a beautiful vacation destination for the privileged and is now a pool of dead fish.

The narratives are interspersed with choreographed dance sequences in which the protagonists dance – to music specially composed for the film by Zach Condon of the band Beirut and songs by Bob Dylan. 

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Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
14 October 2011 (USA) See more »
I was in jail for one hundred years...
Bombay Beach is one of the poorest communities in southern California located on the shores of the Salton Sea... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An Interesting Look At An Insular Society See more (9 total) »

Directed by
Alma Har'el 
Produced by
Alma Har'el .... producer
Rafael Marmor .... associate producer
Boaz Yakin .... executive producer
Boaz Yakin .... producer
Original Music by
Zach Condon 
Cinematography by
Alma Har'el 
Film Editing by
Alma Har'el 
Joe Lindquist 
Sound Department
Dror Mohar .... sound designer
Dror Mohar .... supervising sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Matthias Koenigswieser .... additional photography
Editorial Department
Alex Hulsey .... post production supervisor
Michael Lafuente .... digital intermediate technical director
Beau Leon .... colorist
Clark Andrew Vogeler .... additional editor
Terry Yates .... assistant editor
Music Department
Jordan Calig .... post production audio engineer
Other crew
Paula Present .... choreographer
Travis Baker .... special thanks
Bob Dylan .... special thanks
Werner Herzog .... special thanks
Chris Innis .... special thanks
Bob Murawski .... special thanks
Brian Perkins .... special thanks
Andrew Spieler .... special thanks
Richard Tanne .... special thanks
Christina E. Wasell .... special thanks


Additional Details

80 min

Did You Know?

Cedric Thompson received a scholarship to the University of Minnesota. He became a starter at safety in 2012.See more »
Movie Connections:
Moonshiner (outtake)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
An Interesting Look At An Insular Society, 28 November 2016
Author: atlasmb from United States

Should a piece of film stand on its own merits or is it okay to be informed by the intentions of the film maker? In this case, I recommend that viewers read the interview of director Alma Har'el by philconcannon which can be found on a message board.

This film is not a documentary. It is not a drama. It is, indeed, part musical because some sequences are choreographed. But director Har'el advises that she wants to transcend genres. The result is a hybrid form that must be analyzed to be understood.

The film centers on three individuals who actually exist. They live near the Salton Sea--a decaying area that is part desert wasteland and part deteriorating infrastructure. Those who live in this isolated and forgotten area might be considered detritus that has washed up on the beach.

However, a society does exist there and many of the individuals make the most of their unfortunate circumstances. One character, Red, is an elderly gentleman who says he enjoys life, but seems to spend much of his time smoking and dealing cigarettes. Cedric is a black teen who relocated from LA out of desperation, trying to escape urban violence. Benny is a young boy who deals with mental imbalances and the debilitating effects of the drugs he takes to combat them.

Some have suggested that the film is a condemnation of the American Dream. On the contrary, the film celebrates those who endure hardships and still dream. Cedric has aspirations for the NFL. Benny wants to be a fireman. Har'el uses their comments as voice overs, giving the film a philosophical tone.

The end result is a sometimes sad, sometimes hopeful portrayal of an area. A slice of life. And a frank look at a world populated by misfits and survivors. In the credits, director Har'el gives a nod to the "surreal and beautiful Bombay Beach", providing a clue to her feelings.

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Cedric Thompson--update atlasmb
My interview with director Alma Har'el philconcannon
Thompson drafted by the Dolphins SkiUMahGopher
Article about Cedric (Ceejay) Thompson SkiUMahGopher
Beasts Of the Southern Wild laidbackluke
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