Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Genesis Children (1972)


A coming-of-age story about a bunch of teenage boys on a nudist vacation in Italy. Often compared to a naked "Lord of the Flies." 

A group of american teens and children (ages about ten to sixteen) living in Rome, who are lured to a small Italian coastal town by a newspaper ad calling for boys to act in a play. Along the way, they encounter a man who appears to them in various guises: a priest; a teacher; a policeman; a politician. Directed by him to a secluded beach and finding themselves alone, they hang out for several days, swimming and sunbathing without their clothes. They explore a cave. They raise and repair a sunken rowboat.

Its amazing that a movie like this was ever made, although one has to exclude the 60's and 70's from that label. The boys in the movies (ages 10-16) are completely nude for many scenes, and make no attempt to hide any frontal nudity. While it is unusual for boys of this age to show any nudity in American films, European films regularly show situational nudity of all ages. It would be nice to see American film-makers, and the general public relax with nudity in films (and in general), which somehow always gets related to sex (thanks to religious paranoia). There are no sexual innuendos in this film at all, and it is basically no different than watching a European nudist film, albeit there is at least an attempt at a plot here. Hard to find film, but still available through some distributors. The "leader" in the film (Peter Glawson) starred in another film (Peter & the Desert Riders) around the same time, but that film is almost non-existent.