documentary - America Stripped
In August of 2007, with no confirmed subjects nor a location at which to shoot, Friedler and Palmer embarked on a highly emotional 30 day roller coaster ride that would eventually bring together 173 naked human beings of every shape, size and walk of life. Entering a single white room with a red curtain, the participants of “Naked Las Vegas” open themselves up, baring not only their bodies, but also their souls.
Exactly one year later, in 2008, with a pre-release copy of “Naked Las Vegas” in hand, Palmer would journey back to Las Vegas and follow up interpersonally with forty of the book’s true-life characters whom he had documented during Friedler’s initial shoot. What would become apparent was that not only had the city of Las Vegas gone through very drastic changes, so too, on multiple levels, did the people.
Through Palmer’s lens, which at times becomes so humanizing that even clothed, the film’s characters feel more naked than ever; we are privileged to see what happens when everyday human beings stripped of clothing, comforts and society’s judgments discover an even playing field of beauty, humanity and ultimately self love. From a homeless man who strips himself of his past regrets to find employment, a home of his own, and along with it his dignity; to a hermaphrodite couple exposing the truth that beauty and love can be shared beyond social stigmas; to an Elvis impersonator nakedly confronting his own lack of trust in society and finding faith in others by keeping his own commitments, AMERICA STRIPPED prevails by sharing an honest, true story of ultimate triumph over what may seem like insurmountable social and personal odds.
In a society overwrought with an obsession for money, fame and beauty, this collective of unique and sometimes bizarre individuals, living in one of the world’s most infamous cities, shows all of us it is possible to grow from crisis, to find the betterment of humanity through vulnerability, and ultimately be uplifted and inspired by the triumphs of coming to terms with who we all really are.