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The Accidental Sea (2011)

documentary
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Written & directed by Ransom Riggs
Music by Michael Picton

The Accidental Sea is a short documentary about the Salton Sea, a large lake created artificially when a 350 square mile section of the Colorado desert was flooded by accident over a century ago by a man-made irrigation canal carrying water from the Colorado River. The Salton Sea now constitutes the largest body of water in California, a basin lying several hundred foot below sea level.

In this engaging short documentary, narrator Ransom Riggs explores this ‘Accidental Sea’ which fascinates him and leads him to ponder whether the place is a heaven or a hell. Once popularised as a holiday retreat, with hundreds of holiday homes and permanent residences lining the banks of this ‘riviera’, the Salton Sea is now a ghostly, deserted place. Like the town of Pripiat close to Chernobyl, there are clues and signs everywhere that the area was once inhabited, but now it’s barren, an eerie and vast wilderness populated by nobody. Well, almost nobody….