Last night I watched Nicholas Roeg's 1970 film "Walkabout" for the first time since I saw it in a theatre on its original release.

Roeg once described his film as "a simple story about life and being alive, not covered with sophistry but addressing the most basic human themes; birth, death, mutability".

The film follows a girl and her young brother as they are lost in the Australian Outback, and eventually befriended by an Aborigine boy who is on his "walkabout" rite of passage.

Eventually, the children shed the trappings of society, even their clothing, and swim naked without shame.

The swimming scene shown in the photo above proves to be the girl's most idyllic memory of the experience, something which haunts her in later life. I think it's because the moment is no pure, so natural, and so far removed from the stresses of modern life, it serves as a constant reminder of her humanity in a world which serves to suppress it.

Perhaps not intentionally, Roeg has made a strong statement in favor of naturism. For the girl, played by Jenny Agutter, her time in the Outback is a life changing event, forcing her from a schoolgirl's rigid regimen of uniforms and mathematics, into a world where survival is first and foremost. After all the suffering, the hunger, the thirst, and the fear, she discovers true happiness by swimming nude in a lagoon.

Civilization does not stop, but as humans we try to escape the stress now and then. In America, with many working two jobs and taking fewer vacations, people are becoming more and more trapped by the machinations of society. In such a climate, nudism and naturism should thrive. You know how good it feels to take off your shoes after a long day? That feeling is multiplied tenfold when you take off everything.

We don't have to be lost in the wilderness struggling for survival to discover our own humanity, but we do have to come to the realization that we are lost in civilization, tied up in it's increasingly complex rules and regulations. We all need a "walkabout" now and then.

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