California Dreaming

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Ratings: 8.43/10 from 7 users.

Storyline

California DreamingCalifornia is a strong brand, the state of new beginnings, dreams and movie stars, of surfers and a wonderful climate.

But the Golden State is bankrupt and the city of Los Angeles is running out of cash. Public services are being cut and unemployment keeps rising. At the same time, optimism, entrepreneurship and the belief in the power of America are stronger than ever.

In Los Angeles, we meet five people who are going through a transformation in their lives during this crisis. Justin and Christine lost their jobs and are now living in a van with their two young sons.

Charles has gotten out of prison after fourteen years. Mizuko prepares her children for the future by making them at ease in virtual reality.

Laura has taken advantage of the crisis by buying land cheaply and starting an urban farm and artists collective Fallen Fruit maps the abundant free 'public fruit' available in the city.

Who are the pioneers who are reinventing the new America and how do they see the future?

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Comments and User Reviews

  • http://esmuziq.blogspot.com esmuziq

    damnn

  • Tipsy

    A little scatterbrained of a doc, I think. I don't feel like it really had a lot to do with the economic crisis, so much as a random handful of people. They didn't even really have much in common - the theme of the economic downturn seemed like more of an excuse to get them all in the same show.
    And Laura, the architect, bothered me a bit. Her ideas seemed too idealized to really be practical, especially on the scale of an entire city.

    Overall, I thought it was an all right doc. It wasn't particularly heavy, so it made for a nice break from some of the more intense ones on here.

  • Atli

    Great doc I loved it.

  • http://www.jtshockley.com Justin T Shockley

    Amazing film.

  • Richie

    Well having watched that I can't stop thinking is all it was was a extremely subtle and very slick anti immigrant propaganda piece.

  • coyote03

    @ Richie

    The husband who lives in the RV with his wife and children did say that he was against illegal immigrants taking the cheaper labor jobs in California in the first 10 minutes, BUT that is literally the ONLY reference to anti-immigration in this entire documentary. You clearly did not watch this! It features peoples of several different ethnic groups and backgrounds, its simply a look at the lifestyles of different people in the new California, a state facing a ridiculous deficit.

    On a happier note, I thought this documentary was interesting and worth the watch! :)

  • coyote03

    Not to mention this has no affiliation with the American Government. Unless of course Bregtje van der Haak, who has done quite a few other similar documentaries, has been hired by bankrupt California to make this film to discourage immigration. That may just be it! :P

    Again, worth the watch, a bit slow, but interesting nonetheless :)

  • Mike

    Thanks for sharing a little glimpse of the future, because this is what the future holds at some point in time.

    Another option is the Chinese system where the worker accepts extremely low wages in return for food, shelter and a minimal sense of meaning.

  • Tom

    Very bad/poor documentary. Anti-immigrant film with no research, only pure opinions.

  • MIchael22541

    Many People in other countries do not believe what is taking place here, so I will forward this video to them. I look forward to going back to work, I sure hope that day comes soon.

  • capricious

    totally agree with tipsy. was very sporatic and I eventually turned it off. It's a depressing yet accurate and realistic look at the state of California (where I live and have been unemployed for 2 years).

    Things look bad now and there is no logical reason to have hope. I'm honestly thinking about other countries, not just other states. The USA operates on a monetary ponze scheme and it's terrible that it's gone on this long and has gotten this far out of control. Anyone who educated themselves on the monetary system cannot help but come to any other conclusion. A snake can only eat its own tail for so long.

    Good luck to you out there suffering similar or worse fates to my own.

  • Carl

    A real eye-opener!

  • http://www.tkc.tw Kiteboarderjoe

    Very important to know this is really happening. I joined the Navy out of high school, worked for my dad driving a truck in LA when I got out. Moved over here to Taiwan to teach English when my dad retired in '88. After my first 5 years here, I couldn't imagine going back to the American rat race. It's so much easier to live here. Low rent, plentiful teaching jobs, and a rich culture. I feel sorry for the 80% of Americans that don't own a passport.

  • bilshel2

    Get rid of all of the illegal mexicans and California will save
    tens of millions of dollars and put Americans to work

  • markw

    thanks - good doco

  • silkop

    The most striking thing about this documentary is how timid all these people are. They're basically bearing the burden of other (rich) fellow citizens' insatiable greed and mistakes and stupidity of the common folks. But they don't seem to be even noticing, if anything they direct blame at other poor people (the immigrants). It's like the "bad times" came out of nowhere, like a natural disaster that now has to be carried through while strengthening community bonds.

    Americans, you are well on your way to becoming a so-called third-world country and apparently behaving like sheep on the way to slaughterhouse. You cannot individually become free of the system which is designed to be parasitic and suck the blood out of you. The only thing that protects you is the system's ability to meddle in and suck blood of other countries. But I guess when push comes to shove, your government will not be all too hesitant to employ your military to "keep order" and in the end will rob you even of that last fruit picked from a "public" tree and organically grown tomatoes. Things like that certainly have happened in the past in other countries ravaged by economic crises (ironically, some of these crises were triggered by external powers like the US). I guess the next step on the roadmap to serfdom is electing a populistic, dictator-like government.

  • chickenpants

    @Cool E Beans: good thinkin.

  • tracieo3

    I have been on this site since there were only 3,000 people enjoying the documentaries that Vlad shares with us and I have never commented on any of them. This is the current state of our nation, and the progress that we will benefit from these economic crisis will far outweigh the suffering that some of us have had to endure. Community is coming back to us, life lessons being learned about the importance of sharing and family and like minded individuals coming together was a part of my life as a child of the '70s. Thanks for sharing Vlad. Life is still good.

  • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/about/ Vlatko

    Nice to hear that @tracieo3. I'm really glad when I find out that someone have been visiting TDF for so long. Thank you very much.

  • Karen

    Canada is really really cold, go some where warmer.

  • Julia

    I really enjoyed this! thank you. It was really well made, who is the production company behind it?

  • JJ

    It saddened me a bit to watch this. I lived in California all my life up until about 9 years ago. I miss California a lot but it doesn't seem I will ever get back there. Once for about 4 months I camped at the state beaches up and down San Diego county. It was only $12 a day some with amenities and not that crowded. I could only imagine what it's like today.

  • August

    It funny how New Beginnings labels all the homeless ADDICTED & ALCOHOLICs and that's the reason they are homeless, but you have this couple in the motor home NICE & SOBER AS CAN BE, FOLLOWING ALL New Beginning's little rules & stipulations & restrictions......AND THEY STILL CAN'T FIND A JOB OR HOUSING!

    END THE DRUG & ALCOHOL WITCH HUNTS!

  • August

    The homeless agencies label all the homeless people crazy, addicted, and alcoholic BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE THEY MAKE ALL THEIR MONEY, in their million-dollar 12-Step Religious Cult Treatment SCAMS!
    There is no housing, training, or jobs for the homeless!

  • Nancy

    This was a wonderful and sometimes sad documentary.....it reminds me I am close to the brink of living in a RV also! The economy is very bad with 2.1 million US citizen on unemployment (myself included) and the funny and sad part is there is not 2.1 million jobs in the US! This documentary made me thank GOD for all that I do have and by the Grace of God there go I!

  • teh

    poor little callie, poor little united states, i feel so sory for you guys, how can we help, come on and conquer my country, we'll do nothing... jiz

  • Alex

    To all those clowns who thinks that this is not related to the economic crisis,-you have either never lived in California or you might have a problem with your brains. What you see is true and this is just the beginning. This state has always been a refuge but not anymore,-it is simply dangerous to be there now, this state will be the first one to fail.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DAKOWVY6J3K5RSJ3MT5BS3CWMM Alex

    Corporations, politicians and the media are all in bed to fuck the american people. The media is working hard to keep americans ignorant of their real problems. Corporate and political corruption is the real problem. I feel sorry for this great nation. Americans deserve better.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651185008 Adam J. Gillis

    It's easy to play the racist card here, and that is just not accurate. There are little to no companies making anything in America, and this loses millions of jobs. If you want to play the racist card, at least get your facts correct. Blame China and India for all their cheap labor and manufacture of American goods, or blame the Americans for not noticing that all their industry was sold at the cost of cheap products, so big department stores can sell cheap crap made in China to the lowest bidder.

  • Corey W.

    Look, all politics aside, this documentary was everywhere, it jumped from a to q, with no transition, regardless of how you feel about the topic, this was shotty work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/glen.hale2 Glen Hale

    Believing in God got USA in this mess wanting to fight the Muslims who also have a God, not that there is any proof anywhere to prove there exist or existed.
    Until religion is banned there will be no peace and there will bo no banning of religion its a age old mental problem

  • http://www.facebook.com/glen.hale2 Glen Hale

    Believing in God got USA in to this mess wanting to fight the Muslims who also have a God, not that there is any proof anywhere to prove they exist or existed.
    Until religion is banned there will be no peace and there will bo no banning of religion its a age old mental problem
    And this has only just started thats why FEMA want a Billion rounds to put down the civil unrest.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ABN37MIPRDMRW3UX3U3LJOVLSA manfruss

    Since you can't get something from nothing, how else do you feel this world came into existence and all the other little worlds floating around? Something must have happened to create all this, something we can't understand and that is "God". The reason the US is fighting the Muslims is several fold. Middle Eastern cultures can be very militant. So is the US. The US spends more on weapons and armies than any other nation. There will be no peace while mentalities of separation are in place. Those who claim to follow a religion often do not, they follow dogma. The techniques used by some "religious dictators" are no different than those used by other dictators whether fascist, communist, or "democratic". We're not much better here in the North America since plutocracy decides who wins elections. The candidate with the most money. At least African dictators are out in the open about it. "I'm president, and you voted for me since there is only one party, mine, and me." They at least don't hide their control.

    You're wrong that religion causes division. People cause division. People who want to argue their own righteous path, regardless of what that is. The current Dalai Lama is following a true religion, and he wants peace with everyone, doesn't want them to all become Buddhist, Martin Luther King Jr. was a minister, and he was accepting of all people everywhere for any religion. Mother Teresa did more for peace than many others, and I could go on. If one cares to dig you'll find other names working towards peace, including Islamic: Syed Ahmed Khan - Educator, politician, Islamic reformer & modernist, Burhanuddin Rabbani - President of Afghanistan 1992-1996. Assassinated by suicide bomber at home in Kabul. President Hamid Karzai gave him title of "Martyr of Peace", Amr Khaled - Televangelist, activist & preacher in Cairo. Advocates moderation & women's rights.

    I could go on, but you do some of your own research, since I feel that people should independently investigate the truth from themselves. A belief taught to me by my religion. If you open your mind and heart you'll see the real purpose of religion is peace. As silly monkey's on this third floating 3rd rock, "WE" mess that up.

    One last one, since I loved finding this name on a list of known peace activists: 1981-Alive - Omar bin Laden - 4th son of Osama bin Laden. Promotes "Horse Race for Peace" across North Africa.

  • cyberfrank

    cool doc, in a way, it s sad to see the materialist side of the dream go, on the other hand, it s fab to see people grow their own food, and live like Indians again, a much healthier way.