‘Society of the Snow’: A Riveting New Take on the 1972 Andes Plane Crash

A Fresh Lens on a Historic Tragedy

In the realm of cinematic storytelling, revisiting historical events can often tread a fine line between redundancy and revelation. The 1972 Andes plane crash, a story etched in the annals of survival and human resilience, finds a new voice in J.A. Bayona’s latest film, “Society of the Snow.” This Netflix release, based on Pablo Vierci’s book, rekindles the harrowing tale of the Uruguayan rugby team’s fight for survival against insurmountable odds.

The Emotional Core of ‘Society of the Snow’

At the heart of “Society of the Snow” lies a narrative that transcends mere survival. Gustavo Zerbino, a survivor of the crash, recounts his experience of watching the film as akin to being “submerged into boiling water,” a testament to the movie’s visceral impact. The film’s portrayal goes beyond the physical ordeal, delving into the psychological and emotional turmoils faced by the young athletes, stranded for 70 days in the unforgiving Andes.

Beyond Survival: A Story of Culture and Humanity

What sets “Society of the Snow” apart is its commitment to authenticity and cultural homage. Bayona’s direction eschews sensationalism, opting instead for a nuanced exploration of the survivors’ ordeal. The inclusion of Candombe Uruguayan music and references to Uruguayan culture enriches the narrative, providing a deeper understanding of the survivors’ backgrounds and the societal context of their ordeal.

The Legacy of the 1972 Andes Plane Crash

The tale of the 1972 Andes plane crash has been recounted numerous times, through various mediums including films like “Alive” and even referenced in popular culture. However, “Society of the Snow” fills a void that previous retellings have left open. It’s not just about the physical survival against hunger, cold, and avalanches, but also about the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the survivors. The film’s portrayal of these aspects offers a fresh perspective on a story many thought they knew.

The Artistic Vision of J.A. Bayona

J.A. Bayona brings to “Society of the Snow” his unique directorial vision, one that has been honed through his work on films like “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” His approach in “Society of the Snow” is both raw and sensitive, focusing on the human element of the tragedy. The director’s choice to narrate the film through the perspective of Numa Turcatti, a character who died shortly before the rescue, adds a poignant layer to the storytelling.

The Impact on Survivors and Audiences

The response to “Society of the Snow” from survivors like Zerbino and the families of the victims has been overwhelmingly positive. For many, this film has been a means of reconciling with a painful past, offering a portrayal that resonates with their experiences and memories. The standing ovation received at the end of the film during a screening with survivors and family members speaks volumes about its emotional impact and authenticity.

Conclusion: A New Chapter in the Andes Survival Story

“Society of the Snow” is more than just a film about a plane crash; it is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the complexities of survival. Bayona’s film not only revisits a well-known story but also adds new layers of understanding and empathy. As it makes its way to audiences worldwide, “Society of the Snow” stands as a poignant reminder of the resilience and courage of those who faced unimaginable adversities, and of the power of storytelling in preserving their legacies.



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