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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Society of the Snow (La sociedad de la nieve) (2023)

Call me dark, if you will, but I was reminded to watch this after hearing that climbers on Everest are now being asked to bring their own shit (literally) back to base camp with them.



I shudder to think what they were doing with it beforehand. Still, nature, as we also see here, is an unforgiving bedfellow and needs must when the devil drives.


Nominated by Spain as it's choice for Best International Picture, the Academy seems to agree, making it only one of the five films to reach the lofty heights that might get an Oscar next month in that category.


The film, from JA Bayona, documents the accounts of the survivors of a plane crash in the Andes in 1972, adapted from the book of the same name by Pablo Vierci, concentrating on how the sixteen surviving passengers managed to stay alive in such a hostile environment.


As you can imagine, the story is one of desperation as the reality of the survivors immediate future becomes clear when no-one comes to their rescue and with their options quickly diminishing, the group are forced to make some hard choices.


Bayona delivers the powerful, unapologetic story with the aid of mostly unknown talent who all do well bringing it to life onscreen and the brutality of the situation into sharp focus, displaying the unfortunate reduction in the humanity of man in the face of such overwhelming odds. It is undeniably tragic but, depending on your perspective, maybe much less psychologically damaging as it would be physically.


Given mother nature's best efforts, the survivors' story is quite remarkable, displaying admirable faith and determination which is evidenced here despite the doubtless formidable technical challenges this project will have raised.



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