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The Raft of the Medusa (1990)

Le radeau de la Méduse (original title)
Jean Yanne, Daniel Mesguich, Claude Jade: A la recherche de la fortune et du paradis ils ne connurent que l'enfer.


Iradj Azimi


Iradj Azimi




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Yanne ... Duroy de Chaumareys
Daniel Mesguich ... Coudein
Claude Jade ... Reine Schmaltz
Philippe Laudenbach ... Julien Schmaltz
Alain Macé Alain Macé ... Henri Savigny
Rufus ... Soldat musicien
Michel Baumann Michel Baumann ... Alexandre Corréard
Laurent Terzieff ... Théodore Géricault
Victor Garrivier Victor Garrivier ... Antoine Richefort
Jean Desailly ... La Tullaye
Jérôme Anger Jérôme Anger ... Daubigny
Patrick Potot Patrick Potot ... Aspirant
Jean Le Mouël Jean Le Mouël ... Reynaud
Marie Matheron ... La cantinière aveugle
Laurence Hamelin Laurence Hamelin ... La vivandière


Frankreich 1816: Nach seiner Rückkehr aus dem Exil beruft Louis XVIII den Royalisten Schmaltz zum Gouverneur des Senegal. Gemeinsam mit seiner Frau Reine Schmaltz und einer großen Eskorte reist Schmaltz von Rochefort nach Saint Louis. Doch die unter dem Kommando des starrsinnigen Chaumareys stehende Fregatte "Méduse" läuft vor der Küste Senegals auf eine Sandbank. Während sich die privilegierten Passagiere neben der Familie des Gouverneurs in Rettungsboote flüchtet, bleibt 150 Besatzungsmitgliedern nur ein Floß, das von den Schaluppen abgeschleppt werden soll. Doch Chaumareys kappt die Abschleppseile und das Floß treibt aufs offene Meer. Es folgen zwölf Tage voller Hunger, Durst, Kannibalismus. Nur sechs der Schiffbrüchigen überleben und die Tragödie, die zum großen Polit-Skandal wird, inspiriert den Maler Géricault zu seinem berühmten Gemälde "Das Floß der Medusa"... Azimis Film kam erst im Sommer 1998 in die Kinos. Written by Cisnadie <Karl.Fleischer@munich.netsurf.de>

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Did You Know?


Production began in 1987, but was interrupted when Hurricane Hugo demolished the sets. Finally finished in 1990, it did not get distributed until director-writer-producer Iradj Azimi slashed his wrists before officials of the French Ministry of Culture. See more »


Referenced in Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (2002) See more »

User Reviews

as awesome as Géricault's famous painting
4 October 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

A movie inspired by a tragic maritime event happened in 1816 and a movie produced in France and in Iran, "le radeau de la Méduse" is a movie that required 4 years of work! During this very long time, you feel that the director, Iradj Azimi significantly put a lot of time and effort in his project. But his efforts weren't vain at all because the result is terrific.

In his movie, Azimi's speaking to the spectator. It means that he tries to understand and explain us how such the "Méduse" drama could happen. Thus, his directing turns out to be rigorous, precise and sometimes inventive. There's also a quiet but sustained use of the voice-over.

If the director chose to shot his film with a special photography (that spawned several gorgeous pictures), it's because he wanted to find similar colors again as the ones used on Géricault's famous painting. It deals with dark but a little shiny colors. This photography gives more strength to the dramatic side of the story. You can also notice that Azimi decided to shot the appalling castaways' living conditions with a minimum of reserve. Thanks to this, it avoids the movie to fall into the sordid.

A stunning movie supported by a quite weird but fascinating photography and Jean Yanne's extraordinary performance.

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Release Date:

15 July 1998 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Floß der Medusa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Utopia Productions See more »
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