The Raft at Real Art Ways

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The Raft

In the summer of 1973, a young international crew of six women and five men embarked together on a most unusual sea voyage. They began a close-quarters trip across the Atlantic from Spain to Mexico on a free-floating raft christened the Acali.

The voyage was initiated by Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés, who proposed to use the group as guinea pigs in his investigation of the origins of violent conflict and dynamics of sexual attraction.

Contentious from the get-go and incorrectly labeled by the media as ‘The Sex Raft,’ the Acali mission took 101 days to reach its destination. Now, more than forty years later, the surviving crew members reunite to reenact and recollect their experiences, additionally illustrated with extensive 16mm archival footage from the voyage.

What results is a document of the thin line between science and cultism in the early ‘70s, a touching story of female camaraderie and, in the character of Genovés, an unforgettable portrait of oblivious, toxic masculinity.

"Favored with copious amounts of footage shot during the voyage, as well as Genovés' collected data and writings, Lindeen forged a riveting and illuminating study of the unscrupulous endeavor."

Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times

"The picture that emerges decades later is of a moody, manipulative Svengali, blinded by his ego to what was really happening on the raft."

A.O. Smith, New York Times

"A document, as well as a documentary, of genuine consequence. The news is surprising, and pretty darned good."

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal