J.A Bayona’s Society of the Snow, an adaptation of Pablo Vierci’s book of the same name is now on Netflix. The movie tells the story of the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 in the Andes mountains in 1972. During the movie, we see several moments when the narrative stops and a picture is taken, a specific moment commemorated. But are those real pictures in Society of the Snow?
The answer is yes and no. The pictures we see in the movie are only recreations, featuring the actors playing the characters. But there are real pictures they are emulating, and those pictures survived the crash and the rescue. Most of them became part of the general consciousness when the book Alive by Piers Paul Read was published in 1974.
During the credits of Society of the Snow, J.A. Bayona displays the actor’s names over the real pictures taken before the accident, of the fuselage after the crash, during the rescue, and the survivors after. During the movie, however, there is great care to stop and mark the moments when the real pictures were taken, so people can later go back and compare the “movie picture” and the “real picture.”
Bayona himself posted this comparison of one of the real-life pictures and the moment, as it appears on camera.
There are other moments the movie goes out of its way to perfectly capture, like this moment by the fuselage that was shared by Nando Parrado in 2022, on the 50th anniversary of their rescue.
But multiple other pictures can be seen as the credits roll, a good enough reason as any to not hit skip and instead, just let the enormity of what these men survived wash over you as you look at their real-life faces and those who helped them like Sergio Catalán in the photo below.