On Friday at CPH:DOX 2018, The Raft by Swedish documentary film maker Marcus Lindeen was named winner of the festival’s main competition programme, the DOX:Award.
In 1973, five men and six women sailed across the Atlantic on a raft. This voyage was designed by a radical Mexican anthropologist to be both a social experiment and a scientific study of violence, aggression, sex and group behaviour. However, things didn’t work out entirely as planned.
In The Raft, Marcus Lindeen reunites the crew for the first time since the experiment, on a faithful copy of the raft in a film studio, to look back upon the three intense months they spent isolated on “The Sex Raft”, as it later became known.
The jury said in their deliberation: “Its great accomplishment lies in the equal measure of conceptual and emotional elements in the construction, in which feelings and emotions get literally elevated. Two very different forms are intertwined and merge surprisingly well: we see love, companionship and stamina triumph over darker sides of human behavior.”
“We applaud the director for his stamina to continue working on this extensive and complex project until it reached a form where it looks deceptively effortless to the innocent eye. This jury is not innocent but we were nevertheless captivated and very moved by this film.”