Netflix’s “The Snow Circle” perfectly shows what the survivors of the Flight 571 crash experienced

NETFLIX “Le Cercle des Neiges” narrates the tragedy of the survivors of the accident that occurred in the Andes in 1972.

NETFLIX

“Le Cercle des Neiges” narrates the tragedy of the survivors of the accident that occurred in the Andes in 1972.

NETFLIX – To survive, they had to do the unthinkable. On October 13, 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the Andes mountain range with 45 people on board. More than two months later, 16 survivors of the plane crash were miraculously saved thanks to the expedition led by two of them, Fernando Parado and Roberto Canessa. This true story that made headlines around the world has been adapted several times. The movie The snow circle by Juan Antonio Bayona, online on Netflix since January 4, is on the Oscar shortlist for best foreign film.

During their weeks of agony on the snowy mountain, the players of the Old Christians of Montevideo rugby team had to resort to eating the bodies of dead passengers to survive. The film offers moving realism, but without ever falling into pathos. And rightly so, the director had the support of Fernando Parado, one of the survivors of the robbery, in his project. HuffPost was able to meet.

When asked why he agrees, more than 50 years after the tragedy, to continue talking about it, “Nando” is categorical. “ I don’t feel the need to share my story, but they keep asking me. It is engraved in my flesh, I am a survivor. You only live once and because of this tragedy I decided that the second part of my life was going to be memorable. And being part of this project was exciting. »

Fernando Parado also agreed to work with Juan Antonio Bayona to give another visibility to his story. “ This story still fascinates because it is unimaginable today. This could no longer happen with cell phones and GPS. And it’s almost surreal. We shouldn’t have survived and yet we survived 72 days. Of course, there is the moral aspect: people wonder how they would have reacted in this situation, hoping to never have to face it.. With the images we can try to explain them. Surviving a tragedy like this does not make you the smartest person on the planet, nor a monster. Only one survivor. »

Three survivors of Flight 571 Carlos Páez Rodríguez, Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa on the red carpet of the film “The Ring of Snow” at the 80th Venice Film Festival in September 2023.
Kristy Sparrow/FilmMagic Three survivors of Flight 571 Carlos Páez Rodríguez, Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa on the red carpet of the film “The Ring of Snow” at the 80th Venice Film Festival in September 2023.

Kristy Sparrow/FilmMagic

Three survivors of Flight 571 Carlos Páez Rodríguez, Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa on the red carpet of the film “The Ring of Snow” at the 80th Venice Film Festival in September 2023.

Nando wants to break the myth of adventure

The snow circle It is not the first film that tells this story. But for Fernando Parado it is a different project, because it does not present his story as an epic or romantic adventure. “ Looking death face to face so many times is not an adventure. Bayona understood it perfectly. We have all been heroes despite ourselves. Those who did not return and those who returned. It was destiny and fair destiny that he decided. All of my friends who died, at some point, believed they were going to survive. And all of us who survived, at some point, were certain that we were going to die. »

The realism (sometimes brutal for the viewer) of Juan Antonio Bayona’s images was a real shock for the survivor when he saw the film. “ The sound of crunching snow, the sound of the wind, the shine. For the first time in years I felt overwhelmed by the feelings I had felt at that moment. And it surprised me.” The film is deliberately very immersive. A way for the director to translate the violence of the situation, which Nando found” The movie is fair. We don’t survive there, we die. Every moment. Your body, your muscles fight, you hurt and you die fighting against the cold, hunger and thirst. »

“The Snow Circle” illustrates how Fernando Parado and Roberto Canessa trained to carry out the rescue expedition.
Netflix “The Snow Circle” illustrates how Fernando Parado and Roberto Canessa trained to carry out the rescue expedition.

Netflix

“The Snow Circle” illustrates how Fernando Parado and Roberto Canessa trained to carry out the rescue expedition.

A film that redefines fear and hope

Which The snow circle The diversity of reactions to the imminence of this death is also highlighted. Some fell into despair or denial, others turned to faith. Nando decided to act. “ The moment I heard on the radio that the search was over, I started looking for a way out and it became an obsession. I didn’t want to die, I wanted to find my father, have him in my arms. He was hungry and very weak. But I just knew I didn’t want to “wait and see.” I wanted to keep going even if it seemed impossible. If you are thrown into the ocean with nothing around you, you start swimming, even if you don’t know where to go. »

When told that his performance in the film is brave, Nando only half-confirms it. “ Even now, 51 years later, I wonder why I made these decisions. They told me he was very brave. The truth is that I was very afraid. And that fear multiplied my courage tenfold. But I was terrified in a way you can’t imagine. ».

Agustín Pardella (with the red cap) plays Nando in “The Snow Circle.”
Netflix Agustín Pardella (with the red cap) plays Nando in “The Snow Circle.”

Netflix

Agustín Pardella (with the red cap) plays Nando in “The Snow Circle.”

What drove him to train every day, to attempt various snowy mountain expeditions, to agree to consume the flesh of his dead comrades and offer his own in exchange? Hopeless. “ Hope is a word we overuse there. We were waiting for help to arrive. We hoped they would see us. We hoped the climbers would find help. But hope is dangerous, it pushes us to wait to see what destiny has in store for us. I always prayed for help to come, but I decided to do something in the meantime. We had to stop lying to ourselves. We were dying. If we had hoped, nothing would have happened.. »

Fernando Parado returned 11 times to the scene of the accident to pay tribute to his mother and sister who died in the tragedy. The only souvenir image that he keeps is a photo taken with his wife and daughters during his last trip in 2007, in this place where he is ” born for the second time ».

The snow circle by Juan Antonio Bayona is available on Netflix from January 4.

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