“The Snow Society”: 7 Key Facts to Know Before Watching

Netflix’s recent release, “The Snow Society,” delves into the harrowing tale of survival following a catastrophic plane crash in the Andes Mountains in 1972.

Based on the infamous ‘Miracle of the Andes,’ this film offers a gripping narrative of resilience and human spirit. Here are seven essential facts about the movie and the real events it portrays, offering insights into the storyline and its historical backdrop.

1. The Fateful Plane Crash


On October 13, 1972, a plane carrying 45 passengers, including members of the Old Christians Club rugby team, their relatives, and friends, crashed in a remote area of the Andes. The crash occurred as pilots, misled by their proximity to Chile’s Pudahuel Airport, commenced an early descent, only to collide with a mountain. Compounded by harsh weather conditions, the flight failed to maintain the necessary altitude, resulting in the tragic accident.

2. A Grim Survival Strategy: Cannibalism

Isolated at over 3,000 meters altitude, the survivors faced night temperatures plummeting to -30ºC, with no food or medical supplies. Facing starvation, they made the harrowing decision to consume the flesh of deceased passengers, a collective agreement to use their bodies for survival if they didn’t make it.

3. The Rescue Operation

After over 70 days of isolation, survivors Fernando Parrado and Roberto Canessa embarked on a perilous journey without proper equipment, driven by sheer determination. Ten days later, they encountered Chilean farmers who played a crucial role in the subsequent rescue operation, saving 16 of the crash survivors.

4. From Book to Screen


“The Snow Society” is an adaptation of the book by journalist Pablo Vierci, a college peer of the air crash survivors. Director Juan Antonio Bayona, in collaboration with Vierci, spent over a decade developing the project, drawn to the story’s human depth and the survivors’ guilt, challenging the classic hero narrative in films of this genre.

5. Filming Locations: Bringing Realism to the Screen

Shot in Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile, including the actual crash site known as Valle de las Lágrimas, the film captures the vastness of the Andes. Director Bayona visited the crash site to experience the extreme conditions firsthand, enhancing the film’s authenticity and emotional impact.

6. Involvement of Families and Survivors

The film’s development involved continuous engagement with both the survivors and the victims’ families. This collaboration provided unique insights, significantly influencing the film’s narrative and fostering a deeper connection between the actors and their real-life counterparts.

7. The Survivors’ Role in the Film’s Creation


Fifteen of the original sixteen survivors are still alive and played an instrumental role in the movie’s production. Their firsthand accounts were vital in accurately depicting the scale and emotional depth of the events.

“The Snow Society” is more than a story about an air disaster; it is a testament to human endurance, the strength of the human spirit, and the capacity to find hope in the most dire circumstances. This film promises not only to entertain but also to deeply move its audience with its portrayal of one of history’s most remarkable survival stories.


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