By Gregory Crofton
In 1972, a plane full of young rugby players jetted from Uruguay out across the Andes mountain range, their destiny a match in Chile. The atmosphere on the plane was one of raucous joy even after the plane encountered a violent storm.
These were young men happy to be getting out into the world, for many it was their first flight. Their levity turned into devastation after a mountain peak tore the aircraft in half. Forty six people were on board, some died right away, others died slowly, some survived.
STRANDED is the story of those who survived, living for 62 days on a stretch of snow between mountain peaks. There is no food. An avalanche hits. Director Gonzalo Arijon somehow figured a way to document this unfathomable story of survival. He does it through spiritual testimony from the 16 survivors, some of whom return to the crash site, newsreel footage and staged recreations.
Those “STRANDED” do resort to cannibalism, which is not easy to hear and learn about, but the film is filled with revelations about the constraints and potential of humanity when it’s pushed as far as it can go.