The Raft

(Flotten)
Sweden/Denmark/USA/Germany 2018. Dir: Marcus Lindeen. 97 min. DCP

“The surprisingly short leap from radical academic study to lurid exploitation is navigated with wit, sensitivity, and rueful social awareness.”
GUY LODGE, VARIETY

VANCOUVER PREMIERE! The top-prize winner at Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX in 2018, Marcus Lindeen’s utterly engrossing documentary recounts the baffling Acali Experiment of 1973, in which 11 perfect strangers drifted across the Atlantic on a cramped, motorless raft as part of a “scientific” study on the origins of violence and aggression. Conceived and conducted by radical Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés, the controversial social experiment tasked ten volunteers — six women, four men, from diverse ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds — to float from the Canary Islands to the Americas on a vessel designed for minimal privacy and maximal sexual temptation; i.e., the perfect kindling for conflict! Forty-five years later, Lindeen replicated the boat on a soundstage and invited the surviving participants to reflect on their 101-day stint aboard the “sex raft” (so-called by scandal-stoking tabloids) and their near-murderous relationship with Genovés, the reckless puppet master who took things dangerously too far.

 

REVIEWS

“It sounds like Big Brother on a boat, but The Raft is an absorbing portrait of a bold (or foolhardy) historical experiment that hits many of today’s hot-button topics, dominated by a compelling and complex central figure.”

Empire | full review


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