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February 27, 2024

Netflix’s ‘Society of the Snow’ Brings Harrowing True Story to Light

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Jan 5, 2024

Netflix’s latest drama, “Society of the Snow,” has captivated audiences with its harrowing depiction of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes mountains. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker J.A. Bayona, the film brings renewed attention to the disaster that claimed 29 lives and forced the 16 survivors to take drastic measures to stay alive.

Plane Goes Missing In Andes, Survivors Later Discovered

On October 13, 1972, a chartered Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying 45 passengers departed from Montevideo, Uruguay bound for Santiago, Chile. The aircraft hit turbulence during the flight and its right wing clipped a mountain peak in the Andes. The plane crashed on a high-altitude glacier, killing over half of those on board instantly.

No distress signal had been received, setting off an extensive search effort that would last for over two months. The plane and any survivors were presumed lost until December 22, when two passengers, Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa, trekked for 10 days across the mountains seeking rescue. They came across a Chilean farmer who then alerted authorities to the crash site location.

On December 23, a helicopter rescue crew reached the remaining 14 survivors who by some accounts had been surviving in sub-zero conditions for over two months in the fuselage of the wrecked plane. The shocking discovery gained global attention as the harrowing details emerged of what the group endured to survive over 70 days exposed on the glacier.

Desperate Situation Forces Unthinkable Decisions

Facing brutal cold, injury, illness, and dwindling food supplies in the immediate aftermath, the situation grew increasingly dire for the survivors stranded at over 12,000 feet elevation. Without proper gear or cold weather training, options were severely limited.

“We were just ordinary young men who played rugby, chased girls, drank beer,” said survivor Carlitos Páez in a 2023 interview. “We had no preparation for this kind of hardship whatsoever.”

After exhausting the meager food from plane wreckage and with starvation setting in, the survivors took the drastic action to consume flesh from the deceased victims of the crash in order to survive.

“It was a decision no one should ever have to make, but we were out of alternatives,” another survivor noted in recent comments given under a veil of anonymity due to persisting trauma around the events.

The controversial decision would come back to haunt the survivors, as debates raged over the ethics and necessity of such extreme, taboo actions.

Netflix Film Brings Renewed Attention

Release Date: January 5, 2024

Rating Runtime Director
R 2hr 17min J.A. Bayona

With superb cinematography and compelling performances from stars such as Enzo Vogrincic, “Society of the Snow” has earned rave reviews since debuting on Netflix January 5th, 2024. By bringing the survivors’ tale to a modern audience, the film has sparked renewed interest and debates around how people cope with unimaginable adversity.

Director J.A. Bayona worked closely with the few living survivors to portray the events as accurately as possible while still creating an engaging narrative. Real-life survivors Roberto Canessa and Carlitos Páez even have short cameos in the film.

“To be back there was intensely emotional, but I’m grateful the story is being told,” said Páez of appearing on set near the actual crash site during filming.

Lingering Trauma And Unanswered Questions

While many celebrate the film, it has also brought pain for families of some victims who perished on the mountain. The brother of victim Susana Parrado was particularly angered over the film’s depiction, bringing the lingering rawness around the events once again into public discourse. Others have voiced concerns over the film not properly capturing aspects like theVERSIONenous political strife in Uruguay at the time which impacted public perception.

Debate continues around whether the survivors had any other choice but to resort to cannibalism given there is also speculation a route off the mountain may have been passable earlier on. Some accounts dispute the climatic conditions being as prohibitive as the film and survivors maintained.

Unanswered questions persist around decisions made, leadership failures, and perceived heroism versus pragmatism of certain survivors. Ultimately the disaster left deep psychological wounds for all involved – regardless of who perished on the mountain or escaped.

Impact And Legacy

Gripping dramatizations aside, the reality of those 72 days on the glacier in 1972 still haunt many. But the story has also become a parable of the human will to survive against impossible odds.

The disaster prompted changes to aircraft navigation protocols in the region and innovations like easier to deploy emergency locater transmitters. It still ranks as one of the deadliest plane crashes in the remote South American Andes.

“Society of the Snow” will expose new generations to the story and perhaps spark needed discussions around crisis leadership failures and lack of contingency preparations that exacerbated the tragedy. If any redemption exists, it lies in learning critical lessons so history does not repeat itself on some other remote, snowbound mountain top. That perhaps stands as the greatest legacy of the 16 haunted souls who defied all odds those 72 days trapped in the lifeless cold.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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