Survivors of the well-known 1972 Andes plane crash tell their story.
The documentary "Stranded: I Have Come From a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains" recounts in gripping detail the 1972 ordeal suffered by a group of Uruguayan rugby players whose airplane crashed in the Andes. Seventy-two days later, 16 survivors came home, having endured injuries, life-threatening cold, starvation, avalanches and unspeakable emotional and physical hardship.
Their remarkable story was the subject of the 1974 book "Alive," which was later turned into a fictionalized movie. But here the survivors themselves finally appear on camera to recount and in large part relive their tale, a harrowing story of courage and spiritual transcendence. Their talking-head interviews are punctuated by reenactments, a few ghostly photographs they took during their time in the mountains and footage of their return to the site of the crash two years ago, with family members in tow. Filmmaker Gonzalo Arijon treats the men's story with compassion and sensitivity, especially regarding the cannibalism to which they resorted in order to survive -- a topic of sensationalized media coverage at the time. "Stranded" combines the derring-do of classic adventure tales with far more serious issues of moral agency. And it serves as a haunting reminder to seek joy and beauty, even in the depths of despair.
-- Ann Hornaday (Nov. 14, 2008)
Contains brief profanity and disturbing thematic material. In Spanish with English subtitles.
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Stranded: I Have Come From a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains