Faith backstory of survival explored Print
Written by Staff   
Monday, 06 July 2009 01:06 PM America/New_York

Though the dramatic survival story of members of a South American rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes in 1972 is well-known, the spiritual backdrop to their ordeal is explored for the first time in Stranded (7-95975-11133-1, $29.99, Vision Video).

The 126-minute docudrama—in Spanish, with English subtitles—follows the survivors as they return to the remote crash site and recall their experiences, weaving their remembrances together with archival footage and reenactments filmed by cinematographer César Charlone (City of God).

Sixteen of the 42 passengers on the plane survived the crash, eventually deciding to eat the flesh of some of those who had died, to stay alive until they were rescued after 72 days. Their story was told in the best-selling book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, adapted as a movie of the same name.

In Stranded, the survivors—from a tight-knit community near Montevideo, Uruguay, whose sports team was called “The Old Christians”—“talk a lot about how their faith was both challenged and strengthened on the mountain,” said the film’s associate producer, Elizabeth McKee.

One reviewer called the film, directed by Gonzalo Arijón for Zeitgeist Films, “an impressive spiritual meditation on the values of community, self-sacrifice, unity with others, hope and loving cooperation.”

The DVD includes additional interviews with the crash survivors and a making-of featurette.

To order, visit Vision Video at, or call 212-274-1989.