After Time to Die, I grabbed a quick bite and went to see Stranded: I’ve come from a plane that crashed on the mountains–my fifth documentary of the week.
Once again, the director was there in person. But instead of bringing his star and cinematographer, Gonzalo Arijon brought his very young daughter, who shyly hung onto his leg as he introduced the film. I wasn’t able to stay for the Q&A afterward.
Stranded tells a story many of us have already heard, about the 1972 airplane crash that inspired the best-selling book and Hollywood movie Alive. The plane, carrying a Uruguayan rugby team and their friends and family, crashed into a glacier high in the Andes. The survivors endure extreme cold, hunger, an avalanche, the deaths of loved ones, and the necessity of eating those loved ones’ corpses. Finally, two of them make a stunning trek across the mountains to find help. Only 16 out of the 45 people on the plane survived the crash and 72-day ordeal.
Combining interviews with the survivors (all 16 are still alive), re-enacted sequences, and some photography from the actual events, Arijon recreates the harrowing experience with dramatic intensity. Despite the cannibalism, these young men don’t drop into Lord of the Flies savagery. They cooperate, help each other, and work for the common good.
Unfortunately, unless it gets picked up by an American distributor, you have no more chances to see Stranded: I’ve come from a plane that crashed on the mountains.