THE RAFT
5. September 2018

The wildest social experiment of all times

In 1973, a scientist experimented by sending five men and six women across the Atlantic Ocean on a small raft without an engine. The experiment was part of a study in sexuality, aggression and group behavior. The man who initiated the experiment was the Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés, who wanted to explore how humans behave towards one another when under pressure.

The eleven members of the crew were handpicked by Santiago Genovés from around the world with the purpose of mixing religion, gender and nationality to maximize the tensions on board. His ultimate goal of the study was to reach an insight that could help peace in the world. Genovés called the expedition a ‘Peace Project’ but it did not take long for the international press to rename it ‘The Sex Raft’.

They spent three months together, while Santiago exposed them to all sorts of challenges. And without revealing too much, the experiment didn’t exactly work out as planned…

Today, 43 years later, the surviving members of the experiment reunite in a film studio where the raft has been recreated as a spectacular scenography. On board the new raft they tell the true story behind what has been described as “the strangest social experiment of all times”. The movie gives us a micro-cosmos where we can mirror ourselves and learn about human nature, while at the same time being entertained by the amazing and deeply fascinating tale of a group of people’s dramatic stay at sea, closed into a canopy of a raft in the company of only one another and an eccentric scientist.

 

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