One of the most visually interesting of this genre of nonfiction film that seems more & more prevalent in the US: the vague focus on poverty/social issues a la individuals in a community, handheld camera work with lots of focus pulls, a determinative soundtrack, beautiful landscapes.
A straightforward and honest potrait of everyday life in a lost place. By using music and especially dance as a kind of distancing effect, Alma Har’el tries to undermine the overall impression of hopelessness with a glimpse of optimism. But I think it doesn't work each time.
Expressionistic at best, with a nauseatingly short depth-of-field and inexplicable uses of subtitling. It brushes over what's actually a complex, fascinating history and place, instead using it as a bland metaphor for desolation and a backdrop for characters that could have very well existed in any other Southern California desert town. Though I did appreciate the moments of musical magic (except for Beirut, yawn).
A documentary about the ghosts of potential and dreams... echoed through the citizens of a once-happening town. Bombay Beach follows people of different backgrounds and ages through their current life, which contrasts with their hopes. As a reflection of the characters' minds, the film pairs reality with choreographed dances and imaginations. A gentle study of a mental and physical place.