The Raft is the staggering new film by the critically acclaimed and award winning Swedish artist, writer and director Marcus Lindeen. 

In 1973, five men and six women sailed across the Atlantic on a raft. A social experiment and a scientific study of violence, aggression, sex and group behaviour. Over 40 years later, Lindeen brings the same crew together again, which lead to this dramatic and psychologically insightful documentary. The Raft had World Premiere at CPH:DOX on March 17.

What triggered your inspiration to make the documentary?

I wanted to make a reunion with people who had done something radical when they were young. I was looking at radical queer groups, political theater collectives and things like this when I stumbled upon a book about the hundred strangest scientific experiments of all time. One of them was called ”The Sex Raft” and of course that made me curious, so I started reading and realized it would be perfect to reunite the participants from an experiment that was both a study in human behavior and at the same time a thrilling adventure story. I decided that I wanted to bring the surviving members from the expedition together again for the first time since their journey in 1973, and have them board an exact replica of the original raft built up in a film studio. To help them remember what really happened during what was called as one of the strangest group experiments of all time.

Marcus Lindeen, writer and director of the documentary film The Raft. Photo: Emelie Asplund

How would you describe the work process when shooting the film?

It was a lot of work to relocate eleven people from different parts of the world and fly them to Sweden and also to build a replica of the raft. The set designer Simone Grau Roney worked with the original blueprints and made an exact copy of it. Then it took a long time to find the archive materials that we use in the film. I knew there had been a 16mm camera onboard the raft documenting the entire journey. But the film roles were nowhere to be found. Eventually, due to a spelling error on a lab report, we managed to find them in a university archive in Mexico City. It was like hitting gold. When I saw that material, I knew we had a film!

Your film is one of 12 films nominated in CPH:DOXs main competition Dox:Award 2018, what are your thoughts and expectations about that?

Whatever the outcome, I am honored that the film is nominated for the award and will compete next to some really, really interesting work.

Screenings

Tue. 20/03, 19:00, Palads, Tickets

Wed. 21/03, 12:15, Cinemateket, Tickets

Sat. 24/03, 14:00, Charlottenborg, Tickets