Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea

Rated NR

A heartbreaking story about the rise and fall, and rise and fall, of America’s strangest inland ocean. The Salton Sea, near Palm Springs, Calif., was an accident of engineering, a vast lake created by runoff and diverted rivers that swelled with fish and tourists, and later filled with stink and despair. John Waters narrates this gripping documentary about the remaining speculators, nudists and God-inspired sculptors who still populate the strange and fetid desert around the receding waters. Music by Tucson’s own Friends of Dean Martinez adds the perfect air of Southwestern despair, but the film is much more than a freak show or music video; it’s also an exploration of the complexities of ecological and political issues, and the wide range of unintended consequences that can occur when we mess with Mother Nature. The movie’s also a lot of fun.

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