In 1972, the Uruguayan rugby team is flying to Chile to play a game. However, the plane from the Uruguayan Air Force with 45 people crashes on the Andes Mountains and after the search party, they are considered dead. Two months after the crash, the sixteen survivors are finally rescued. Along the days, the starved survivors decide to eat flesh from the bodies of their comrades to survive. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The cross shown in the end credits is not the real cross that stands at the burial place. You can see the real cross on the Wikipedia page for 1972 Andes Flight disaster. The cross and crash site are reachable in the South American summer via horseback. There are guided trips to the site. The cross is surrounded by items visitors have left in honor of the victims and the survivors - as well as parts of the wreckage of the plane. See more »
In reality, the plane tail was ripped off by the torn-off right wing which had clipped a mountain peak before. In the movie, it's the tail clipping a mountain peak and then being ripped off. See more »
After 20 years, you analyze a lot. You remember people, heroism. "The Miracle of the Andes", that's what they called it. Many people come up to me and say that, had they been there, they surely would have died. But it makes no sense. Because until you're in a situation like that, you... you have no idea how you'd behave. To be affronted by solitude without decadence, or a single material thing to prostitute, it elevates you to a spiritual plane, where I felt the presence of God. Now, there's ...
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Critics often fault Alive with petty complaints: Gee, wasn't the avalanche a convenient plot device? Why didn't the plane have signal flares? How come the survivors were all those pretty boys? Why don't we see the dramatic search? In doing so, they're faulting reality: The avalanche really did happen when and how it was portrayed. The wreckage really did lack signal flares. The plane really was chartered by a bunch of ruggedly handsome young men -- what else do you expect from a rugby team? And yes, the search was dramatic (the moment when Roberta Cannessa's father learned that his son is alive is one of those stranger-than-fiction moments), but it was enough of a task to compress the survivors' story into a feature film. The search would have comprised another film entirely on its own.
How do you compress nearly three months of terror and tedium into less than two hours while still holding the attention of the audience? It's a daunting task, and Alive manages quite nicely. With technical consulting provided by crash survivor Nando Parrado, Alive captures the look and mood of the crash site, and sketches in the relationships among the passengers of the ill-fated flight.
It leaves many strange questions hanging (Where, in this plane full of mostly unmarried adults, does Nando come up with two tiny red sneakers?) and those questions are best answered by reading the book. And watch Alive again. Things become clearer with multiple viewings.
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