Society of the Snow – The Triumph of the Human Will for Life

The film Society of the snow (La sociedad de la nieve) tells the story of the survivors of a plane crash in the Andes in 1972. It is an adaptation of the book by Uruguayan journalist Pablo Vierci and was nominated for an Oscar in the category Best International Feature Film.

I see Society of the snow not so much as a film but rather as a story about an extraordinary human experience. This plane crash is one of those miracles that happen to humanity so that it can show what spirit it possesses. The film’s strongest quality is precisely that it recreates real events and decisions made by real people.

A plane flying from Uruguay to Chile crashes in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of over 3,000 meters, but most of the passengers survive. They face 72 days of survival in some of the harshest conditions on Earth.

One of the main focuses of the film is on what decisions the characters have to make in order to save themselves. Once it becomes clear that help is not coming any time soon, they are faced with their most difficult moral question – should they eat human flesh from the dead so that they can survive themselves. In such conditions, the rules of society lose their foundations, and each must decide for himself which he chooses – not to violate his deepest beliefs or to stay alive.

Throughout the plot we see many human emotions and traits in a very authentic version. We see how willpower gives even people who have never seen snow before the strength to adjust to a place that everyone back home thinks is impossible. How despair cannot break the human spirit when it is backed by determination and courage. How young people just on the threshold of adult life become leaders and make choices that many others would not have the guts to make. How togetherness and friendship keep the flame of life burning even in the coldest snowstorm. How the joy of this victory over the blows of reality is the most wonderful feeling that inspires the whole world to have more faith.

Those involved in the crash are ordinary people who, however, choose at every moment to keep their spirit present, and that is why they prove capable of achieving the impossible. Their story deserves to be told, and Society of the Snow does a remarkable job of it.

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