This film is part of Free

Boys Bathing - Venice

An intimate, playful scene of young lads cooling off and larking about in a Venetian backwater

Non-Fiction 1898 1 mins Silent


There's a gondola in shot, but this is far from a typical Venetian view. This early film directed by William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson shows a group of youngsters in a hot Italian summer, dunking themselves and each other in the cool water of the canal. Their boisterous antics are observed by a group of women on dry land - two of whom are holding younger children safe from the water - including one who cannot resist the temptation. As the short film ends, she is about to make a splash herself.

WKL Dickson was a Scottish inventor and filmmaker who had worked for Thomas Edison in America, where he devised an early motion-picture camera, called the Kinetograph. In 1895, he formed the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company with a few associates. The company made several actuality films, shot on large-format 68mm film so as not to infringe Edison's copyright on 35mm stock. Among the many films Dickson made for the firm, he shot several short subjects in Venice in 1898.