Society of the Snow, Spain's official Oscar contender for this year's International Best Feature Film, will make its OTT debut just in time to chase away the post-NYE blues.
Society of the Snow is J.A. Bayona’s first Spanish directorial venture since his 2007 Spanish debut, The Orphanage. The film premiered at the 2023 Venice Film Festival before having a limited theatrical release in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain. The film, based on the tragic 1972 Andes plane crash, will debut on OTT on January 4, 2024.
Dropping on Netflix, Society of the Snow is based on Pablo Vierci’s novel of the same name. He was a classmate of the survivors and has collaborated on some other related projects as well. Society of the Snow has bagged four Academy Award nominations this year, leaving behind box-office blockbusters like Oppenheimer and The Color Purple, in various categories like Visual Effects, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, and International Feature film.
Society of the Snow stars an ensemble cast, comprising Argentinians and Uruguayans, in order to remain true to the film’s cultural and social context. Told from the perspective of Numa Turcatti, a local rugby player, his character is portrayed by Enzo Vogrincic Roldán.
The film traces the true story of the ill-fated plane crash that took place on October 13, 1972. Flight 571 carried almost the entire Old Christians amateur rugby team, comprising young boys in their late teens or early twenties along with some relatives to cheer them on, for a series of matches in Santiago, Chile. But out of the 40 passengers that left, only a handful made it back alive.
Due to multiple reasons, ranging from sudden bad weather conditions to an underpowered plane piloted by an inexperienced captain as well as sheer bad luck, the plane crashed just before its destination, in one of the most inhospitable places on earth. Andes mountains with an impending winter.
Though 33 survivors initially make it, sustaining the rocky, snowy landscape becomes increasingly unlikely without proper food, shelter, or warmth. To make matters worse, a sudden landscape ends up killing more of them and trapping the rest inside suffocating, immovable snow, with more dead bodies. It was only after a few days had passed that the survivors were able to burrow their way out of the icy graveyard they had been buried alive in and start afresh.
72 days later, when help finally reached them, only 16 survivors were found. In a story involving cannibalism, gory deaths, and hopeless survival, Bayona shows surprising restraint in his treatment of the subject, focusing instead on the bonds forged during human survival and the sensitivity humans are capable of even when facing the adversity of eating their friends’ corpses or dying.