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Netflix has dropped one of this year's most harrowing films

This Oscar nominated tale has been described as a real-life 'miracle'

Netflix has dropped one of this year's most harrowing films
Danielle de Wolfe
05 January 2024

'Based on a true story' is a label that's been banded about by countless on-screen productions over the years.

But it's safe to say Netflix's latest release has the authority to claim just that, as intrepid release Society of the Snow lands on the streaming platform for the first time.

The harrowing tale of a stranded Uruguayan rugby team trapped in the Andes after their plane, Flight 571, crashed in October 1972 en route to a match in Chile.

Now, the new on-screen retelling has been given the seal of approval from the survivors themselves.

With survivor Carlitos Páez describing the new release as being 'like a documentary', it's not the first time this real-life 'miracle' has been transfered onto our screens.

Most notably, this incredible feat of human endurance made its way to the big screen back in 1993 in the form of Alive, the adrenaline-fuelled film starring Ethan Hawke.

Now, the dramatic retelling is having its Netflix moment, with Society of the Snow receiving an Oscar's nod, making the shortlist for Best International Film at the upcoming Academy Awards.

A true tale of survival, it tells the tale of the 16 individuals who survive the initial crash, depicting the waves of desperation and hope (or lack thereof) that overcome them as they cling to survival in sub-zero conditions.

With the surviving members of the Old Christians Club rugby union team stranded at high-altitude for 72 days, this is a tale of endurance that defies belief.

It's a story that came to a crescendo when two of the survivors – players Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa – embarked on a near-impossible 10 day hike in search of help.

A mission that included traversing the 4,650-metre peak with no mountaineering gear to speak of, all hope seemed lost when intercepted radio transmissions revealed the search for the group had been called off.

It goes without saying that this larger-than-life story was always destined for the big screen.

Drawing from survivors' real-life testimonies - with source material that includes both Páez's account, alongside those of Uruguayan journalist Pablo Vierci - this snow-clad epic shouldn't be dismissed as yet another fabricated tale.

Directed by JA Bayona, the Andes adventure is available to stream now on Netflix.