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Movie Review: Stranded: I have come from a plane that crashed in the mountains)

Alternate Title: Staying Alive

Story: Some stories capture the imagination. This one has fascinated me for 36 years. In October of 1972, a Uruguayan flight carrying students, parents and alumni from Stella Maris College to a rugby match in Chile crashed in the Andes. Out of the 45 on the plane an incredible 29 survived the original crash and 16 ultimately made it back to civilization some 72 days later.

This survival tale made headlines around the world when these boys came out of the mountains and it was revealed that they survived by resorting to cannibalism. Yes, that part of the drama is great fodder for retelling and form some ghoulish thoughts, but for me, being able to survive as a group, work as a team, do what they had to do to survive and that two of the boys managed to walk out of the Andes to get help is the real heart and soul of the story.

Writer/director Gonzalo Arijon was able to interview all 16 survivors and accompany them back to the crash site to pay homage to those left behind. It is moving, heartfelt and even when you know what is going to happen, compelling story telling. The survivors are all still friendly to this day. The archival footage seen at the end of the film is worth the price of admission.

Check out some amazing photos from the official website here: http://www.viven.com.uy/571/eng/FotosIneditas.asp

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7ULqMm_3TA

Acting: Arijón interviewed all sixteen survivors: José Pedro Algorta, Roberto Canessa, Alfredo "Pancho" Delgado, Daniel Fernández, Roberto “Bobby François, Roy Harley, José Luis "Coche" Inciarte, Álvaro Mangino, Javier Methol, Carlos “Carlitos” Páez, Nando Parrado, Ramon "Moncho" Sabella, Adolfo “Fito” Strauch, Eduardo Strauch, Antonio “Tintin” Vizíntin, and Gustavo Zerbino.

Trivia: There have been four films based on the event including: Trapped: Alive in the Andes (documentary-2007) Alive: The Miracle of the Andes (1993) It explores the lives of the survivors twenty years after the crash. Supervivientes de los Andes (1976) This was a Mexican production directed by René Cardona jr. It was based on the unauthorized 1973 book, Survive by Clay Blair. Books based on the event include: Parrado, Nando (with Vince Rause). Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home. Read, Piers Paul. Alive: Sixteen Men, Seventy-two Days, and Insurmountable Odds -- The Classic Adventure of Survival in the Andes. Enrique Hank Lopez. They Lived on Human Flesh

Predilection: I have been fascinated by this event ever since it happened. I have seen all of the films and read all of the books on the subject. I like tales of incredible human feats.

Critters: Goats, sheep and horses.

Food: Gulp. Probably not a good idea to discuss in detail the food that this film includes on its menu.

Visual Art: The Andes are spectacular as photographed by Cesar Charione (The Constant Gardener, City of God).

Theater Audience: Pretty crowded.

Weather: Brrrrrrrrrrrr

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all but there were lots of snow drifts.

Predictability Level: I am very familiar with the story so there were no surprises for me.

Tissue Usage: I welled up towards the end.

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine as would rental for the other films on this topic.

Length: Two hours