Bombay Beach


Bombay Beach (2011)


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True to her roots as a photographer, video artist, and music video director, Alma Har'el crafts an adamantly atypical and artistically innovative film telling the story of of three protagonists: Benny Parrish, a young boy diagnosed with bipolar disorder whose troubled soul and vivid imagination create both suffering and joy for him and his complex and loving family. CeeJay Thompson, a black teenager and aspiring football player who has taken refuge in Bombay Beach hoping to avoid the same fate of his cousin who was murdered by a gang of youths in Los Angeles. And that of Red, an ancient survivor, once an oil field worker, living on the fumes of whiskey, cigarettes and an irrepressible love of life. -- (C) Official Site

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Benny Parrish
as Benny Parrish
Pamela Parrish
as Pamela Parrish
Mike Parrish
as Mike Parrish
Doran "Red" Furgie
as Doran "Red" Furgie
Cedric Thompson
as Cedric Thompson

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Critic Reviews for Bombay Beach

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (13)

"Bombay Beach" is an oasis of creativity in the documentary landscape.

Apr 13, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Har'el's film is at times bizarrely uplifting, at others crushingly sad...

Jan 31, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

That it documents rural poverty in the American West without exploiting or sanctifying its subjects would be cause enough for praise. But this doesn't begin to approach what Alma Har'el pulls off with her hybrid doc knockout Bombay Beach.

Nov 2, 2011 | Full Review…

More lyrical tone poem than straightforward documentary.

Oct 21, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

You either like this kind of ambitious, brave, borderless experiment or you don't, and I think it's absolutely magical and tragic.

Oct 13, 2011

While stand-alone scenes leave strong impressions, the recurring strands simply aren't compelling

Oct 13, 2011 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Bombay Beach


Arty documentary focusing on three subjects---a troubled and over-medicated young boy, a football-playing teen transplant fleeing gang violence in L.A., and a crusty old cigarette bootlegger---in decaying Salton Sea, CA, an impoverished desert burg. Inconclusive but impressive chronicle of the lives of outcasts in one of the last places in America where it's still possible to live as an individual. The soundtrack by Beruit and Bob Dylan helps a lot.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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