The Raft (2018)


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In the summer of 1973, five men and six women embarked on a 101-day scientific sea-adventure, drafting on a small raft named "Acali" across the Atlantic. In a experiment initiated by Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés, the group set out to explore the origins of violence and the dynamics of sexual attraction. The eleven members of the crew were handpicked from around the world with the aim of mixing religion, gender and nationality to maximize friction on board. Genovés called the expedition a ' Peace Project' but it did not take long for the international press to rename it 'The Sex Raft', a nickname which still upsets some members of the crew. As leader of the experiment, Genovés had hoped to be able to report on his human guinea pigs, telling tales of orgies and violent conflicts, but it seems that the outcome was very different. Instead go fighting or having sex, the group slowly turned against him. Mutiny was discussed and at one point there was even a plan to kill him. Today, more than forty years later, the surviving members of 'The Acali Expedition' reunite in a film studio in Stockholm, board a reconstruction of the raft and tell the hidden story behind what has been described as 'one of the strangest group experiments of all time.'

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Critic Reviews for The Raft

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1)

The surprisingly short leap from radical academic study to lurid exploitation is navigated with wit, sensitivity and rueful social awareness in Swedish director Marcus Lindeen's gripping debut feature "The Raft."

Mar 26, 2018 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Yet the crushing disappointment of the film (which matches archive footage with contemporary reflections) is that nothing really happens.

Jan 18, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

It's all splendid fruit for a documentary, especially given two things: the remarkable filmed record of the expedition at the time, and the fact that seven of its members are still alive.

Jan 17, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It is an interesting story, and yet the film doesn't quite summon up the atmosphere of the raft. It doesn't fully plunge you into that strange milieu, nor does it quite analyse exactly what was going on.

Jan 17, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

If we all end up like this, we should be happy: prepossessing wrecks, blithely remembering the days we put to sea as vessels of youth, hoping we'd reach journey's end without destroying ourselves or each other.

Jan 16, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A film rippling with insights into identity politics and humanity under pressure.

Jan 14, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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