Virtually all American feature films with nudist storylines, from the 1930s to the present (with the possible exception of 1933’s This Nude World, written by lesbian author and upstate New York nudist retreat owner Jan Gay), have been “nudie cutie” exploitation films, primarily appealing to the desires of a heterosexual male audience. These films suggest that nudist camps are overflowing with nubile young women who welcome our gaze as they slather on sunscreen and slap around volleyballs.
Although contemporary American filmmakers continue to approach the topic of social nudity as a novelty or punchline, there are several exceptional international films that casually feature naturist characters or spaces in their stories. Director Tim Mielants’ 2019 film De Patrick is such a film. Currently available to view on Alamo’s streaming service, it might well be one of the most engaging films about naturists ever produced. 🪐