Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Andes Crash Survivors
Director: Gonzalo Arijon
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Educational
On October 13, 1972, a young rugby team called "The Old Christians" from Montevideo, Uruguay, boarded a plane for a match in Chile--and then vanished into thin air. Two days before Christmas, 16 of the 45 passengers miracu... more »
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Documentary about the Andes Crash Survivors More Engrossing
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 05/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The story of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes and the struggles of the men aboard to survive seems to pop into the public awareness periodically over the three decades since it happened. "Stranded" is the latest documentary on the subject, and it's the best I've seen. All 16 survivors participated. Director Gonzalo Arijon incorporates grainy, impressionistic, silent reenactments of the scenes the men describe. This enhances the audience's picture of the events without usurping the gripping commentary of the survivors. The combination of interviews, some archival footage, and the dreamlike reenactments, which seem like memories, make this retelling of the story more engrossing than any narrative adaptation.
On Friday, October 13, 1972, a college rugby team from Montevideo, Uruguay set out on Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 to Santiago, Chile, where they were to compete in a match. Having changed its route to avoid inclement weather, the plane descended too early over the mountains, severed both wings, and crash-landed high in the snow-covered Andes. Of the 45 people aboard, 29 survived the crash, 23 uninjured. They didn't have adequate clothing for the freezing conditions. Many had never seen snow before. And, even strictly rationed, food would only last a few days. They hoped to be rescued but could hear on the radio that the aerial search was called off due to heavy snow. And yet 16 of the young men spent 72 days on the mountain and lived to talk about it.
All survivors participated, but some say more than others. Fernando "Nando" Parrado, who wrote a book about his experiences, seems to have been a leader after the group lost its team captain. Roberto Canessa, who, with Nando, was responsible for the rescue, is the most pensive and analytical of the experience. Gustavo Zerbina is vibrant and opinionated. Those who had the strongest voices on the mountain have the most to say today. The film places no more emphasis on the men's cannibalism than on any other element of their story, for which I am grateful. I've never understood the fascination with the cannibalism. It's the least interesting aspect of the ordeal. This is an incredible story of survival and escape against all odds and against the indifference and supremacy of Nature. In Spanish with optional English subtitles.
The DVD (Zeitgeist 2009): Bonus features are a US trailer (2 min) and a featurette, "The Making of Stranded" (52 min). This is a loosely organized mix of interviews with survivors that were cut from the final edit of the film, some brief interviews with the director on location, in which he emphasizes that this film is about the experiences of the men, not about action, and we spend time with some of the survivors as they relate more details of their experiences to the young actors who will portray them. Both the film and featurette are in Spanish with optional English subtitles."
A surprisingly uplifting film
2things@once | Chicago, IL | 03/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 1972, the small plane carrying a rugby team from Uruguay crashed in the Andes. After 72 days stranded in the cold and snow, 16 of the original 45 passengers were rescued. For the first time, survivors tell the incredible story in their own words, including the notorious cannibalism that saved their lives.
Atmospheric recreations, narrated by the survivors, give a chilling sense of the wilderness, isolation, and brutal conditions these people endured. When a group of survivors return to the scene of the crash in 2006 to pay their respects, filmmakers follow. Many of the survivors are accompanied by their children, some the same age as their fathers when the accident occurred. Sitting amid the gorgeous snow-capped peaks of The Valley of Tears 35 year later, these men are able to articulate their experience, including rare moments of profound beauty, in language that is heartfelt and hopeful."
Outstanding, inspiring, and harrowing
Viva | So. Cal. | 11/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very well-made documentary that combines interviews, archival footage, re-enactments, and even a modern trek back to the Valley of Tears in the Andes, where the Uruguayan men and women crashed in 1972. Everyone knows the story, but you've never heard it like this. The survivors are still living near each other and they still have raw memories of the terrible ordeal they endured for more than two months before finding their way out of it.
Although they had to resort to cannibalism, their justification of it is both moving and highly rational. No one had any business condemning them for it. There was absolutely nothing else to eat, and they were determined to survive.
Excellent and emotional film."
Tallulah13 | Portland, OR | 11/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have long been fascinated with this event. This film is the first coverage of the story to actually bring home to me how amazing it was that any of those boys survived and how great a distance -- both mentally and physically -- they were from the rest of the world.
As the now-grown men tell their tale in their own brutally honest words, you can't help but feel great admiration for all of them, even those who didn't make it out of the mountains. It's a heartbreaking and awe-inspiring story."