Price: $310.00

    Code: 2245

    Directed by Chris Metzler & Jeff Springer
    2005, Purchase: $310 Classroom Rental: $125
    DVD includes a 73-min. theatrical version and a 57-min. environmental version

    There was a time when the Salton Sea, tucked into the southeast corner of California was known as the Riviera of the West - a premier vacation destination for the rich and famous, serving the likes of Frank Sinatra, the Marx Brothers, and the Beach Boys. Today, it's considered one of America's worst ecological disasters: a fetid, stagnant, salty lake, coughing up dead fish and birds by the thousands. Narrated by legendary counterculture filmmaker John Waters, Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea is an exuberant, irreverent, and insightful documentary that looks at exactly what went wrong.

    Employing a wealth of archival footage and photographs, as well as interviews with conservationists, politicians, environmental experts, and the hardy few who continue to live around the Sea, the film reveals the strange history of this man-made wonder, as it examines the economic, political, and environmental factors that turned a once thriving luxury resort into an ecological time bomb.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Selected by Booklist as one of the Top Ten Environmental DVDs of 2008

    *Washington DC Independent Film Festival
    *Explorers Club Documentary Film Festival
    *International Wildlife Film Festival
    *International Festival of Environmental Films
    *Savannah Film Festival-HBO Producer’s Award


    “An interesting, disturbing, and humorous look at environmental disaster.” - The Berkeley Daily Planet

    “Historically thorough and thoroughly hysterical.” - LA Weekly

    “Highly entertaining! A funny and poignant documentary.” - San Francisco Chronicle

    “An often-fascinating document of change — incremental as evaporation, or catastrophic as flooding…. The filmmakers use graphics imaginatively and include great time-capsule footage of promotional films from the '50s, bittersweetly capturing that era's enthusiasm.” - LA Times

    “A fascinating, nutty story, a kind of Chinatown gone wrong (or gone more wrong).” - Chicago Tribune

    "Jaunty and funny... with a cast of colorful locals who make the residents of Vernon, Florida seem normal.” - Variety

    “A hilarious and kindly ode to a fallen paradise.” – SF Weekly

    “A heartbreaking, sidesplitting parade of humanity.” - Village Voice

    "Fascinating! An alarming yet highly entertaining documentary." - Hollywood Reporter

    “Highly recommended! The film is well done and actually rises to the challenge and meets the hype created by the numerous awards… a quirky, informative and entertaining film, which will make you chuckle, wince and scratch your head throughout.” – Educational Media Reviews Online

    Further Reading

    “Calif. Presents Plan to Save Salton Sea” – Washington Post, October 18, 2006