Susanna Della Sala, Italy, 2022, 90'
WORLD Premiere
Tue. 9.8.2022, 11h00, La Sala
Wed. 10.8.2022, 9h00, Palacinema 1

en / it / de / fr

Garbage is lying around, houses are disintegrating, everything is dusty and deserted. Bombay Beach could be the perfect location for a western. Gone is the hustle and bustle of the many beachgoers a few decades ago. One of the remains is a golf caddy decorated with pink balloons, which an elderly lady uses to help her move around. Some kind of fresh new life would not be unwelcome for the few people who have remained in the small American coastal town. But you should be careful about what you want.

The lively Italian filmmaker, artist, and author Susanna della Sala documents how Bombay Beach has been radically rejuvenated within a short period. One truckload after the other arrives in the desert. A colourful bunch of artists pops out. Their unusual ideas are going to transform the landscape with oversized installations and music performances. It is a well-known fact that we witness here. Whenever the rents for city studios become too high, artists move to cheaper locations until high demand makes them too expensive again. This process already has a term that is exploited in an inflationary manner: Gentrification.

The film does not conceal the tensions that this produces in Bombay Beach. But it also shows how enriching and, in this case, healing the contact between various generations and social classes can be. For a genuine exchange to be able to develop, there needs to be the will to question one’s own habits, even if the result may be a disturbing feeling of insecurity. But this is the only way to bring oneself into play.

Teresa Vena