Tribeca Film Festival 2022 review: ‘Naked Gardens’ is an insightful look at an alternative lifestyle.


Everyone arrives for a different reason, but collectively their goal is the same. Leave your judgment at home because at Sunsport Gardens in Florida, “nudity is expected.” It says so on the sign in the office. The naturist property operates similarly to a co-op. Residents own shares in the corporation and a board that makes decisions for the entirety of the community. But, there also appears to be a rental office. This option proves to be a challenge to some of the residents’ way of life. Tribeca 2022 delivers a unique doc with Naked Gardens.

The fact that these residents allowed cameras into the community communicates how comfortable they are in their skin. Here’s what audiences need to understand; society has decided what the rules are. Clothing didn’t always exist. Men have sexualized the naked body. This programming proved inherently true as I found myself staring while watching the film. The residents are not always nude. You sporadically see everyone dressed at one time or another. Christmas is one of those occasions. The tween-aged residents always appear clothed. One of their main goals is protecting the children.

The style of the doc is observational cinema. There are no sit-down interviews, just simple daily interactions between residents within the months leading up to their annual festival. What filmmakers Ivete Lucas & Patrick Bresnan catch on camera is undoubtedly intriguing. They are intimate moments and mundane moments. Naked Gardens showcases a group of earnest people trying to live a harmonious and simple way of life. If nothing else, you have to respect that.


Directed by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan

Using precise and illustrative cinematic images, Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan make verité stories that counter the mythic concepts of America. Their short films have premiered at Cannes, Berlin, Sundance and Locarno. Their first feature film Pahokee premiered in competition at Sundance and was released in the United States and France.

Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan
Patrick Bresnan, Ivete Lucas, Tabs Breese, Julia Nottingham, Roberto Minervini and Denise Ping Lee
Ivete Lucas
Patrick Bresnan
Ivete Lucas
Matthew Perniciaro, Jimmy Goodmon, Shelly Leslie, John W Copeland
Shakira Refos
Laurence Reymond, Emanuela Righi, Kelsey Oluk
Jeremy, McKayla, Jamie, Gretchen, Deedee, Serenity, Morley

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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