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We All Climb Mountains: Film Review on “Society of the Snow”

Photo courtesy of Pexels/eberhard grossgasteiger

In January 2024, I watched a film that left me questioning my emotions. The movie depicted a tragic plane crash that claimed numerous lives, and the survivors had to face unimaginable difficulties. However, I found comfort in their journey, and I was not the only one since the movie became a massive success. 

J.A. Bayona’s film, “Society of the Snow,” tells the story of the 1972 Andes flight disaster. It follows the survivors as they face physical, moral and emotional challenges. Bayona skillfully balances respect and realism in his approach to the story. The film features impressive performances by a mainly Uruguayan and Argentine cast, many of whom are  new to acting. The cinematography captures the isolation and beauty of the Andes, and Bayona’s direction immerses the audience in the unforgiving environment.

The film doesn’t shy away from the uncomfortable truth that the survivors had to resort to cannibalism to survive. It presents this as a dire necessity rather than sensationalizing the situation. This approach adds depth to the ethical difficulties faced by the characters. The film is thought-provoking and prompts viewers to reflect on the lengths they might go to survive in such extreme circumstances. The cinematography is breathtaking, effectively capturing the isolation and harsh beauty of the Andes. Bayona’s directorial prowess shines through, intensifying the emotional impact of the survivors’ journey.

One of the film’s standout features is the exceptional performances delivered by the cast. Their authenticity and raw emotion bring the characters to life, making the audience feel the weight of their decisions and the desperation of their circumstances. The ensemble cast’s chemistry is palpable, capturing the camaraderie and internal conflicts that arise as they physically and morally navigate the treacherous terrain.

But then I realized—there is no mountain too high or too cold to climb, and no challenge too difficult to overcome. All of us need a constant reminder that we are capable of overcoming any obstacle, no matter how insurmountable it may seem. The story of Fernando Parrado is a perfect example of this. After the crash, Parrado was left unconscious for three days, and everyone assumed he was dead. However, he survived and was one of the two survivors who walked for ten days to save the rest. They saved him so he could save them all.

So, no matter where you are in life or what challenges you face, always remember that you can climb that mountain. Remember, no matter how tough the journey may seem, you can get through it.

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