This was originally posted on facebook on the Young Naturists and Nudists America forum on facebook, in response to a request for my perspective on the Naked Village which I took part in during the summer of 2014.
The Naked Village is an informative documentary. I was fascinated with the interviews with the founder’s daughter and the old footage but I had hoped it would show more of what we are about as naturists and nudists and why we choose to be part of this community.
I thought the documentary was well done in the main and far from shying away from genitalia, it was rather a focus, unnecessarily so at times.
I’d like to see a documentary made about our community by a woman and one who is already a naturist/nudist so there’s that understanding there. That said, it was generally sensitive and a humorous portrayal at times but the focus was a bit narrow.
Spielplatz actually has a lot to offer but traditionally they’ve not leveraged their marketing well and far from struggling to appeal to younger people, they have been very welcoming to Young British Naturists (YBN) when they have hosted them for weekends.
Like most clubs they have an events programme and put on regular gigs with some very good musicians. Music is a real focus for Spielplatz just as it is at the Naturist Foundation in Kent, another rural site.
I think it’s a shame more of the energy, activism, charitable and ecological work the community typifies and embraces wasn’t evident and the focus was more upon inter-club politics. I was there for both the naked yoga and body art and I’d no idea someone had been asked to leave.
I know Director Dan and the crew from Daisybeck Studios who produced the documentary for Channel 4 really enjoyed getting to know the community and wanted to give us chance to showcase naturism. There’s no doubt it’s more of a talking point in what is British Naturism’s 50th year so we are topical anyway but it was a rather tired rendition which implied a crumbling, decaying, outmoded community struggling to adapt and change. Most clubs have a dynamic and a sedentary side and this was an affectionate but flat portrayal I felt of somewhere which actually has a lot to offer, a short distance from central London. Sadly it isn’t likely to inspire many people to try naturism out for themselves and the body art section got a bit weird in parts but so much can be inferred through clever editing and the direction the programme takes.
It really mirrored My Daughter the Teenage Nudist in its focus whereas the older and younger naturists do comfortably co-exist at many clubs/events. For a documentary to make a mark though they normally need a point of contention and actually the whole concept of purist naturism or a more relaxed clothing-optional stance for newbies really resonated with my textile friends. So if nothing else it has inspired a debate about the way forward and Spielplatz themselves have received lots of web hits and presumably enquiries. It may well be aired on Channel 4 in the future which would generate even more coverage so the debate is far from over. That will light the blue touchpaper!
Guardian review by Julia Rayside 12 December 2014 ‘The Naked Village – review: the hopes and fears of a nudist colony laid bare.’ Why oh why do non naturists insist on the outmoded term nudist colony or naturist colony? We’re not bees!
I forgot to mention the fun we have too in my review above. After all, if we didn’t enjoy our naturism/nudism, we wouldn’t do it basically.