The Raft

  • Marcus Lindeen
  • Sweden, Denmark, Germany, United States
  • 2018
  • 97 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests

In 1973, a group of six women and five men climbed aboard a small raft to cross the Atlantic Ocean. It was part of a radical experiment by the Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés, who filmed and documented the behavior and events onboard in minute detail. Inspired by the Vietnam War and the peace movement, he wanted to investigate whether human beings are naturally aggressive and warlike. The research was to be conducted in complete isolation: in the middle of the ocean.

The guinea pigs were carefully selected to include a wide variety of origins and backgrounds, and because Genovés supposed that there was a connection between aggression and sex, he consciously picked the most attractive candidates—leading the media to dub the experiment "the sex raft."

Forty years later, a number of the participants come together in a studio, on a replica of the raft, the Acali, to look back at their three-month adventure. Conversations with and among the ex-participants are richly illustrated by footage of life onboard, providing a fascinating view of the times and a look ahead to future reality TV shows like Big Brother.


  • 97 min
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English, French, Swedish
Marcus Lindeen
Erik Gandini / Fasad
Executive producer
Julie Goldman / Motto Pictures, Christopher Clements for Motto Pictures, Jesper Kurlandsky / Fasad
Bullitt Film, Sutor Kolonko
Måns Månsson

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests

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IDFA history

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