Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Their story has been a kind of obsession of mine. "Alive" was the first adult book I remember reading. And I am very much fascinated by theri story. I am talking, of course, of the Uruguayan students whose plane crashed in the Andes in 1972 and had to resort to eating the flesh of the dead. And I'm not fascinated so much by the gruesomeness of it, but by the humanity they represented. The idea that surviving is the most important thing in the world and that our instinct for survival can be so amazing.

So this week I saw the documentary "Stranded" in which survivors tell their story. It is so interesting to see them talking to camera, explaining 30 years later, how they felt. Most of it I had read in various books, but listening to them made it more intimate and frankly, more human.

But one thing stuck with me this time around. Towards the end of the documentary a helicopter travesl the distance from where the plane crash to where the survivors finally found civilization. And someone says that someone would have needed super human strength, proper equipment and much training to have been able to climb those mountains. And yet these men did it half starved to death and without even a rope for equipment. Another aspect of this incredible story was revealed.

This is one excellent documentary.

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