USA – 2011 – 80 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ENGLISH
A FILM BY ALMA HAR'EL
NON-THEATRICAL: AVAILABLE FOR TV, VOD & FILM FESTIVALS ONLY
The desolate and surreal Salton Sea in California stands as a formidable metaphor for the broken American dream. The largest lake in all of California, was created when the Colorado River flooded the windswept desert, carrying the river’s entire volume into the Salton Sink over a period of approximately two years. A dam was built and water filled the basin — the Salton Sea was born.
At the height of American optimism in the 1950s the Salton Sea fueled a recreation boom, and the inland desert sea became an inviting vacation destination, catering to waterskiers, boaters, and fishermen. Billed as "Palm Springs-by-the-Sea,” and “the new Riviera,” the lake enjoyed immense popularity, especially among the rich and famous, as movie stars and recording artists flocked to the area. From Dean Martin to Jerry Lewis, Frank Sinatra, and the Beach Boys, the lake became a speedboat playground. Restaurants, shops, and nightclubs sprang up along the sea, and on the eastern shore a new little resort town came to life under the name BOMBAY BEACH.
Today, after a series of floods, the lack of water outflow, and the high salinity that has killed off the fish, Bombay Beach is little more than a shanty ghost town in the poorest county of California. The broken-down signs from the ‘50s and the sunken, ghostly Marina are still there to remind the community of the dream that once was the Salton Sea — and is now a pool of dead fish in the middle of the desert.