Once known as the “California Riviera,” the Salton Sea is now considered one of America’s worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. “Accidentally” created by an engineering error in 1905, reinvented in the ’50s as a world class vacation destination for the rich and famous, and then suddenly abandoned after a series of hurricanes, floods, and fish die-offs, the Salton Sea has a peculiar and bittersweet past.

This surreal and apocalyptic landscape is now home to a hardy group of eccentric hangers-on, who have carved out their own slice of paradise on the shores of this environmental train wreck. As if living on the banks of a man-made mistake wasn’t challenging enough, the sea’s most unique community now faces a new struggle. Residents are being threatened by the nearby megalopolises of Los Angeles and San Diego, which are poised to snatch up the agricultural run-off that barely sustains the sea. The fate of this so-called ecological time bomb and the community that surrounds it remain uncertain, as the Salton Sea might just dry up.

Narrated by cult-movie legend John Waters, Plagues & Pleasures is an epic western tale of fantastic real estate ventures and failed boomtowns, inner-city gang flight to white small town America, and the subjective nature of success and failure amidst the landscape of the American Dream.

Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea 20 April,2016TrulyCA

Filmmakers

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Chris Metzler

Read more about Chris Metzler, filmmaker of Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea and Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone.


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Jeff Springer

Read more about Jeff Springer, filmmaker of Plagues & Pleasures.


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