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 Written by: Diane Mellen, Stacey Stone  |   Directed by: Stacey Stone |  Genre: Doc  |   Length: 12 minutes
 “What makes this such an interesting title? It’s ability to show itself the way Stone intends – yet still allow us to imagine for ourselves.
 The Salton Riviera. Promised by the opening promotional video as being the spot of choice for boaters and water fanatics in alike, has gone sour in recent years. In part due to the population boom, because everyone wanted to live here all of a sudden, as well as chemical drainage from the large local farming community. Now days this place is a poisonous wasteland. Dead fish and birds line the beach – and the lack of proper drainage promises the toxic issues won’t be solved any time soon.
Paradise lost would be the best description, and the director Stacey Stone makes sure we get it. Loud and clear. “Unaccountable” is salted not just with pictures of dead birds and fish, but also crumbling buildings and tourist sites. Pun intended. But there’s more. Somehow, Stone manages to show off a glimpse of beauty. Dulled down by the toxic instances, and shows of death and decay. We can see how this place was once so beautiful. We can maybe understand why the politicians still feel they can get away with charging admission to visit this place. Almost. What we can’t deny is the fall this place has endured. Nature and flooding may have created this oasis, but we have destroyed it.
Although it would be amazing if some initiative were taken to clean this place up, maybe try and restore it to it’s former self – I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Even if it did, a complete cleanup would probably not be possible. The real sham is that instead of closing this place down to the public for safety, money is still trying to be made off of it. Could you picture bringing your kids here to camp? Eagerly showing off all the dead fish and birds to your sons and daughters? Reminding them that an overnight camping trip is more than enough – because this place isn’t actually safe? The shame is the downfall here. As explained by Diane Mellen and Stacey Stone, the writers. The tragedy is how this place is handled. I can only assume that ever so slowly the area will completely vanish. Until then, it’s like charging money to tourists to spend the weekend with a group of serial killers, tapped on a small island. Maybe my comparison is a little hefty, but I’m hoping my feelings are being conveyed. Something that Stacey Stone doesn’t have to account for is the look and feel of this title. Sweeping landscapes and powerful imagery are the words of the day. You may expect to see shots of bones, ruin and decay – but also come back with something a little more after watching. Wonder. Introduction aside, you can imagine what this place must have been like during it’s golden age. Through some choice visuals, Stone manages to not only show us what this place is now, but also what it probably was then. Something tough to do when you don’t have all that many before shots – and mainly current after images.
Through those same choice shots, and an excellent eye for editing, I was also left with another feeling. In four words? Damn. What a shame. You may be thinking that a viewer, using their imagination to picture how beautiful things once were is easy? Realistically? It’s not easy at all, considering we’re guided along – forced to see through the eyes of the director. That’s what makes this such an interesting title. It’s ability to show itself – and still allow us to imagine.
Summing up “Unaccountable” is as easy as pie. An excellent entry into the world of micro budget short film. Far exceeding the sum of it’s parts, making it a real pleasure to watch. Had a little more background information been present, I probably would have awarded another half star. By that same train of thought, four stars is definitely something to be mighty proud of. Four out of five excellent stars. 
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