Society of the Snow Movie Review

Sharanya Kumar

Based on the real-life disaster

J. A. Bayona’s Society of the Snow (2023) tells the unbelievable story of the people who fought to survive two months, on October 13, 1972, in the hostile, glacial wilderness where the odds and elements were stacked against them

Survival Drama Focused on Empathy

The Spanish film, nominated for Best International Feature, tells the true story of how victims of a plane crash rallied to survive against all odds. The film honours each of the fallen by displaying their full name and age on screen when they breathe their last.

Indomitable Human Spirit

The film gives fresh meaning to that clichéd phrase, “the indomitable human spirit”, with its spectacular, sometimes hard to watch, but ultimately respectful telling of a true story. 

Cinematographer Pedro Luque

He captures the breathtaking, formidable beauty of the Andes with long shots and varied perspectives that highlight just how intimidating the landscape is. Often, the camera zooms so far out that the people look like mere specks dotted against a pristine, endless white space.

Bayona’s film Stands Out

It is technically sublime, but also because it shows remarkable empathy towards its subjects. The passengers’ profound discomfort at the prospect of cannibalism is explored with nuance, as they weigh the rights of the dead against their need to survive to ensure their friends didn’t die in vain. 

Endearing Moments

There is an endearing moment at the end of the film when the survivors awkwardly attempt to groom themselves with what little resources they have so they can look presentable when the rescuers arrive.