Bombay Beach

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. Film director Alma Har’el tells the story of three protagonists. The trials of 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. The story of 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. Together these portraits form a triptych of manhood in its various ages and guises…

LoveTrue

This genre-bending documentary brings Har’el’s signature poetic imagery and fascination with performance in nonfiction to three complimentary stories that seek to demystify the fantasy of true love. Using an atmospheric blend of follow-along footage, artful camerawork, and scenes depicting the past, present, and future of her subjects, Har’el follows three complicated, real-life relationships as they unfold in distinct corners of the country. Alaskans Blake and Joel pursue a promising romance, in spite of physical limitations and her stripping career. In Hawaii, free spirit Coconut Willie discovers another side of true love after realizing his son is not biologically his own. And singer/songwriter Victory philosophizes on faith and faithfulness as she and her siblings perform in the streets of New York City accompanied by their father John, who was abruptly separated from his wife. [Synopsis courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival]