“Society of the Snow” is a harrowing and horrific depiction of survival.
Read our Editorial Guidelines regarding how posts are written and rated and our use of affiliate links.
“Society of the Snow” Plot Summary
“Society of the Snow” is based on the true story of the 1972 Andes flight disaster, where an airplane flying from Uruguay crashed into the Andes mountains. 45 passengers were initially on the flight, but after two months in the cold and brutal snow, only 16 people survived. The story is as harrowing as it is horrific, and director J.A. Bayona mostly rises to the occasion to make “Society of the Snow” feel the weight of this tragedy and miracle.
Based on Pablo Vierci’s book of the same and true events, “Society of the Snow” tells its survival story through the eyes of multiple characters. Numa Turcatti (Enzo Vogrincic Roldán) narrates the journey and provides intimate insight and philosophical questions about the survivors’ days in the mountains. Uruguay’s Flight 571 mostly consists of a rugby team and friends and family of that team; many of the travelers are young men who have never left the country or been on a plane. But when the plane struck a mountain ridge, the initial three-hour flight became a 60-day fight for life. Some of the survivors include medical student Roberto Canessa (Matías Recalt), rugby player Nando Parrado (Agustín Pardella), and rugby captain Marcelo Pérez (Diego Vegezzi).
While 33 people survived the plane crash, the survivors still had to endure life-threatening injuries, thirst, hunger, and the relentless cold in the mountains. Bayona puts viewers up close to mortality and doesn’t shy away from the difficult conversations and pain these men had to endure. “Society of the Snow” conveys the loss of life and how surviving in itself can be a heroic feat.
“Society of the Snow” is rated R due to gruesome violence, occasional profanity, cannibalism, and traumatic events.
Other Noteworthy Information
- There have been two previous movies depicting the 1972 Andes flight disasters, “Alive” (1993) and “Survive!” (1976).
- The cast and crew consulted with the remaining survivors still alive, with two having cameos in the actual film.
“Society of the Snow” General Information
|J.A. Bayona and Bernat Vilaplana
|Based On Work By
|“Society of the Snow” novel by Pablo Vierci and the actual 1972 Andes flight
|January 4, 2023
|How To Watch
|2 Hours, 24 Minutes
|Noted Characters and Cast
|Enzo Vogrincic Roldán
Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.
Numa Turcatti (Enzo Vogrincic Roldán)
Numa Turcatti is a law student and friends with the rugby team. We view the events mainly through Numa’s eyes, but his words are best represented by the collective of survivors.
- The actor is also known for their role in “9.”
Roberto Canessa (Matías Recalt)
Roberto Canessa is a medical student who understands how dangerous the environment is to their bodies and how rapidly people’s bodies can shut down. While he helps care for survivors, Roberto also volunteers to take a 10-day trek away from the plane wreckage to seek help.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Planners.”
Nando Parrado (Agustín Pardella)
Nano is one of the rugby players who is adamant about venturing away from the plane wreckage for help.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Todo por el juego.”
Marcelo Pérez (Diego Vegezzi)
Marcelo is the rugby team captain, and even during the unmitigated disaster, his team looks to him for advice.
- The actor is also known for their role in “Silencios de familia.”
“There is no greater love than that which gives one’s life for one’s friends.”
“Society of the Snow” Review
Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)
Makeup, Costuming, and Coloring Makes You Feel Like You’re in “Society of the Snow”
There are close-ups in “Society of the Snow” that make your own face hurt. The chapped lips, the blistering skin, the soiled faces, and the dimming light all add to the relentlessly cold atmosphere of these characters. The makeup, costumes, and lighting convey the pain and loneliness of these characters, where the only strength they can find is sometimes holding each other.
A Painful yet Honest Celebration of Life
“Society of the Snow” opens with narration explaining exactly what you’re about to see. How is survival possible? The answer is within unimaginable traumatic events and the unbreakable spirit of a community. J.A. Bayona knows how to establish a wide shot of our dwindling heroes facing an endless landscape of snow; the shots can make us feel hopeless but also celebrate the human spirit, where survival itself is a miracle and its own form of rebellion.
On The Fence
The Replication of Horror
Like other true stories of survival, “Society of the Snow” has to walk the delicate line between accurately telling its story and not sensationalizing the tragedy. The struggles for these survivors are endless, and due to director J.A. Bayona’s background in horror films, the movie can feel like watching a horror movie. The screams, the close-ups, the sounds of bones crushing, the blood, and the discussions of eating humans can come across as authentic to the survivors’ experience but also morbid entertainment.
Good If You Like
- Survival movies, dramas, and thrillers based on true stories.
If you like this movie, we recommend:
Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.
Follow, Like and Subscribe