Society of the Snow is a gripping survival thriller directed by J. A. Bayona. The film was released on October 20th, 2023, in Spain before landing on Netflix on January 4th, 2024.
Based on Pablo Vierci’s book, the film recounts the harrowing true story of the 1972 Uruguayan Air Force flight disaster in the Andes. In 1972, the Uruguayan Air Force flight 571, carrying a rugby team to Chile, crashed into the Andes, leaving only 16 survivors out of 45 passengers. Trapped in an inhospitable environment, the survivors faced a desperate struggle for survival.
With a cast of mostly Uruguayan and Argentine actors, the movie explores the extreme measures the survivors took to stay alive in one of the planet’s harshest environments. The film has earned a spot on the shortlist for the Best International Feature Film category at the 96th Academy Awards.
Society of the Snow has plenty of cameos by real survivors, such as those of Parrado, Canessa, Paez, Fernandez Strauch, and Inciarte. The film’s success is a testament to its commitment to historical accuracy and the involvement of those who lived through the ordeal.
Every cameo by real survivors & their families in Society of the Snow:
The families of the deceased and the survivors played a key role in the movie’s production, with several making cameos in Society of the Snow.
Real-life: Walked 38 miles with Canessa without any mountain equipment for help after the crash.
Cameo: Opens the door for the actor portraying him in the pre-boarding scene at Carrasco Airport.
Real-life: Walked along with Parrado without any mountain equipment to seek help in Chile. Canessa is a paediatric cardiologist now.
Cameo: Appears behind the actor playing him in the hospital scene after the rescue.
Real-life: Youngest survivor, played a crucial role in sealing the airplane cabin.
Cameo: Plays his own father, Carlos Paez Vilaró. His is the only cameo who has dialogues as Vilaró who reads the survivors’ names on the radio.
Jose Luis ‘Coche’ Inciarte:
Real-life: Helped stitch sleeping bags to keep the survivors warm. Passed away in July 2023. Bayona showed him an early cut of the film before his death.
Cameo: Notable appearance in the bar scene reading a newspaper.
Antonio ‘Tintín’ Vizintín:
Real-life: Was a member of the rescue expedition to Chile but volunteered to return to base camp when rations started running low.
Cameo: Credited as an extra in the Carrasco Airport scene in Montevideo, although the cameo might not be easily visible in the final cut.
Ramón ‘Moncho’ Sabella:
Real-life: One of the survivors.
Cameo: Briefly seen in the airport scene as Javier and Liliana Methol say goodbye to their relatives.
Real-life: A medical student at the time of the crash, helped treat the wounded and stitch tents.
Cameo: Although credited in the film as Old Christians’ rugby team coach, it is hard to spot his cameo. It’s possible it’s either a very small one or his participation may not have made the final cut.
Daniel Fernandez Strauch:
Real-life: Cousin of the Strauch cousins, Adolfo ‘Fito’ and Eduardo Strauch, who were in the crash and crucial in helping the others survive
Cameo: Appears during the church scene.