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The Raft of the Medusa

A Feature film by Iradj Azimi

Produced by Utopia Productions

Release in France : 15/07/1998

  • Contents

Actors (7)

Production and distribution (3)

Executive Producer :

Utopia Productions

French distribution :


Film exports/foreign sales :

Utopia Distribution

TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

TV broadcasts: details by country


1816. After the battle of Waterloo, Louis XVIII is restored to the French throne. De Rochefort sets sail for Senegal on the frigate "Medusa", captained by Captain Chaumareys, with the future governor of Senegal, Mr. Schmaltz, and his familiy on board. In no time, the atmosphere of the voyage is thick with hatred and mistrust. The tension mounts between the autocratic, incompetent Capt. Chaumareys and Coudein, his lieutenant, until one fine day in june, despite Coudein's warnings, the "Medusa" is inexplicably wrecked.


“The Raft of the Medusa” is a beautiful, paradoxical work. It is in a class of its own in French cinema — a spectacular show that is anti-spectacular. It carries a permanent tension between the novelistic lyricism of its storyline and the elevated dryness of its mise en scène, the majesty of its sets and music and the honed-down rigor of its framing and camerawork. From this dialectic arises the strange beauty of the film, like an impossible cross between Curtiz and Rivette, Chéreau and Bresson, Titanic and Lifeboat, Géricault and Hergé. Azimi describes this modestly budgeted film, which took him years to make, as a “hand-made superproduction”. No other words could better sum up the process that led to this Raft, the magnificent indomitability of its ethical and artistic wager.”

(From an article by Serge Kaganski in “Les Inrockuptibles”, July 29th - August 18th 1998)

Full credits (9)

Executive Producer :

Iradj Azimi

Directors of Photography :

Pierre Dupouey, Walther Vanden Ende, Ricardo Aronovich

Editors :

Georges Klotz, Alexis Pezas

Music Composer :

Carl Davis

Sound Mixer :

Thierry Lebon

Screenwriter :

Iradj Azimi

Sound recordists :

Thierry Lebon, Jacques Thomas-Gérard

Production Designer :

Jacques Douy

Costume designer :

Dominique Louis

Technical details

Feature film

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Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

100% French (France)

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

2 h 10 min

Current status :


Visa number :


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Festival Selections

Hong Kong French Cinepanorama - 1999

Hong Kong French Cinepanorama (Hong Kong, 1999)


Films selected