Toni Erdmann

Toni Erdmann is a German movie, a comedy, focusing on the relationship between a father with an appetite for pranks and his workaholic daughter, now emotionally remote from her father.

I’d never heard of it before yesterday, probably because I’m not such an enthusiast of movies.


While a more traditional film about an uptight daughter and her freewheeling father might instead culminate with an argument and a maudlin display of reconciliation, Toni Erdmann’s climax, which involves some truly uncomfortable displays of nudity, is far hairier. Exhausted by the demands of her job and her father’s pranks, Ines reaches an emotional breaking point while hosting an extravagantly catered birthday brunch for herself. After struggling to get changed into a cocktail dress while the doorbell rings for what seems like hours, Ines breaks: Suddenly, she decides to ditch clothes altogether and answers the door naked.

The first guest is her friend Steph, who offers to help her get dressed. Ines refuses, and when the next guest arrives she spontaneously removes her underpants and answers the door naked, telling her guests that her birthday brunch is a “naked party”. Each of them reacts differently, with some leaving in disgust while others self-consciously strip off. …The party becomes increasingly awkward.

Quotes above via Vulture and wikipedia.

Vulture continues…(it’s a) rare scene where onscreen nudity (both male and female) isn’t used to titillate, but is instead used to underscore the characters’ vulnerability and confusion.

I don’t know much about movie making, and don’t analyse what it is film makers claim they’re trying to do, but I do recognise that going naked, for those unfamiliar with it in social situations, such as a naturist debut, does certainly underscore the ‘newbie’s’ sense of vulnerability. I’m not sure how much relevance the ‘naked party scene’ in Toni Erdmann might have for naturists, but it’s certainly something I would be keen to check out in order to assess how much it might reflect the first-time naturist experience.

It’s out on DVD, so I’ll get back to you on this…