The incredible survival story of the Uruguayan rugby team that survived a plane crash in 1972 and managed to stay alive for more than ten weeks on a 4000 metre high glacier in the Andes 35 years later, is as spectacular as ever. Not in the least because they were forced to eat human flesh. Director Gonzalo Arijon, an old friend of the survivors, first uses dramatised scenes to reconstruct that particular day when the elated boys boarded the plane and not much later encountered a heavy storm and crashed into a mountain ridge. Arijon takes the survivors (of the original 45 passengers, sixteen men came home alive) and their children to the crash site. Sitting in this Valley of Tears, the men (not a single woman survived the accident) explain how they made it through the endless weeks on the secluded glacier with nothing more than cigarettes, a radio and the shelter of the wreckage.
Gonzalo Arijon is a film director born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Among his many documentaries are ‘Lula: Managing a Dream’ (2005), ‘Far, Very Far from Rome’ (2004), ‘The Dark Side of Milosevic’ (2002) and ‘Massaï: The Secret of the Volcano God’ (1999).
2007, 123', color/bw, video
César Charlone, Pablo Hernan Zubizarreta
Claudio Hughes, Samuel Lajus, Alice Larry
Florencia di Concilio
Hilary Sandison, Marc Silvera
La Realidad, Ethan Productions
Festivals & Awards:
IDFA 2007 - Joris Ivens Award