Release Date: Oct. 22
Director/Writer: Gonzalo Arijón
Cinematographer: César Charlone and Pablo Hernán Zubizarreta
Studio/Run Time: ?Zeitgeist Films, 126 mins.
Stranded: I Have Come
from a Plane That Crashed on the Mountains'story became legend years ago in the film Alive.A group of men leave
for a rugby match by plane, which crashes in the mountains.In order to survive, the men must do anything
they can, up to and including cannibalizing other passengers killed in the
accident or from the freezing environment they landed in.After weeks on the verge of perishing, they
manage to reach civilization and find rescue.In an act somewhat opposite to what Werner Herzog did by remaking a
crash documentary into Rescue Dawn,
Gonzalo Arijón adapts this story into a documentary about how the survivors
escaped and the effects this had on the rest of their lives.
Because, with the exception of two photos and post-ordeal
news footage, no direct recordings of the crash remain, Stranded is constructed from interviews with survivors.As their story takes shape, the film begins
recreating their tale in blurry, skipping footage which tries to evoke feelings of
what the mountain journey was like.It’s an
impressionistic attempt at recreating the events, but its imprecision is at
best frustrating. The meat of the film
is in listening to the people, especially in the form of audio recorded on a trip back to
the crash site with family members.
Problematically, though, the voices blend into one another and
the survivors lose their identities, becoming essentially one character.It’s an especially odd effect because the survivors
are baring their hearts and their deepest regrets, but due to how things are
edited, it’s impossible to recall who rationalized their food by remembering
Jesus’ sacrament and who did it because of a will to see their parents.This causes the personal tragedy of every
survivor to feel muted and lost, making the film more about the events than the
people affected by them.
Roger Ebert began his review of Alive by noting that the story of the Andean crash might be
impossible to tell.Stranded makes a solid attempt, but lacks either the visceral punch that
found footage could have had or the intimacy that more time spent with specific
survivors would create.Once again, the
specifics of Uruguayan Air Flight 571 are told well, but a real understanding
of what survivors went through is still out of reach.