Directed by: Ivete Raquel Lucas and Patrick Xavier Bresnan
USA, 2022, 90m
FFF Grand Jury award winners Ivete Raquel Lucas and Patrick Xavier Bresnan (“The Rabbit Hunt,” FFF 2017 and Pahokee, FFF 2019) return with this beautifully shot, nuanced story of Florida’s Sunsport Gardens Family Nudist Resort, an isolated nudist camp in the Everglades. Residents there face the daily challenges of any locality: misunderstandings; concerns about the wellbeing of their children; and how to maintain the quality of life that they want, including a community of shared values, love, and respect; and how to live a life without judgement. All the while, aging camp owner Morley prepares for the Mid-Winter Festival, the largest gathering of naturists in the United States, and growing friction between the nudists and the naturists. Utilizing the cinéma verité style that Lucas and Bresnan brought to their previous films, and a profound intimacy (that may have been assisted by the decision of the filmmakers to shed their own clothes as well), the audience is quickly immersed in the daily lives of these residents, forgetting almost immediately that everyone on screen is nude. Nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, Naked Gardens is a very human story that explores what is a frequently avoided subject of films—people who are happy.