This work is based on the The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819) by the French Romantic painter Thodore Gericault (17911824). Excecuted by Gericault when he was just 27, it has become an icon of French Romanticism. Gericault's work depicts survivors from the wreck of the French naval frigate Meduse, which ran aground off the coast of Mauritania in 1816. There were at least 147 people who survived the sinking, and clung to a hurriedly constructed raft. Only fifteen of them were left by the time of rescue, thirteen days afterwards. Those who survived endured starvation, dehydration, cannibalism, and madness. Farhadian's version is set in his familar contemporary context. An atmosphere of disaster reigns as suited men are scrambling around the raft in a state of chaos as a standing figure distributes leaflets into the air.