Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea by Chris Metzler
Imagine, if you will, a barren desert sump that because of an accident suddenly becomes an inland lake. Imagine also that over the course of 50 years this lake becomes one of the premiere resort areas in Southern California. Imagine, finally, that this “resort” has become a stinking cesspool of rotten fish and garbage surrounded by dying communities trying to hold on to some semblance of life. This film tells that story but with the rejoinder that the souls who live along its shores are a mixed bag of eccentrics: a religious zealot, a beer swilling Hungarian revolutionary, a geriatric nudist, refugees from the inner city, and true survivors. Their stories will resonate with anyone who has had a dream to be fulfilled. John Waters, the perennial talking head, narrates and the soundtrack is courtesy of Friends of Dean Martinez, whose spare and arid music resonates especially well with the depictions on the screen. I highly recommend this film and be sure to watch the extras that bring many of the stories up to date and many of the characters even more fully rounded, if not a bit more crazy.
Please enjoy this.