Society of the Snow Parent Guide
A disturbing story, well told.
Parent Movie Review
It’s 1972 and the Old Christians Club rugby team are the pride of their community in Montevideo, Uruguay. The players and are looking forward to a scheduled match across the Andes mountains in Santiago, Chile, for which they have chartered a plane and brought friends and family to watch the game. Tragically, in the crossing over the Andes, whiteout conditions confuse the pilot and the plane strikes a mountain ridge, shearing off the wings and separating the nose and tail of the plane.
The survivors of the crash are now in one of the most inhospitable environments on earth: 3500 meters (11,483 feet) up, surrounded by rough peaks, and unprotected from the cold. More pressingly, they don’t have nearly enough food, even if rescue arrives quickly. As the days pass, and it becomes clear that rescue might be more distant than they’d hoped, the survivors are forced to consider the hardest choice they’ve ever made.
A tense, propulsive story of survival, Society of the Snow traps its audience in the middle of the Andes along with the survivors. The film is beautifully shot, but each stunning mountain panorama only serves to enforce the icy isolation and general hopelessness of their situation. You might want to watch this one with a warm blanket. I’m also going to recommend against snacks – unless survival cannibalism really wets your whistle, in which case I’m not sure I want to watch the movie with you anyway.
The issue of cannibalism is obviously the biggest issue for parents, but it’s handled very…well, tastefully, pun not intended. Any graphic butchery happens off-screen, and while characters are seen eating meat, it’s rarely associated with the people from whom it came. There are some graphic scenes of injury and death, mostly associated with the crash, but the film really isn’t interested in gross-out shock and horror. It’s much more about the tragedy and impossibility of the survivors’ situation, and not some attempt to gin up cheap thrills from the incident. Other negative content is relatively minor, with brief drinking and smoking and a remarkably small amount of profanity. The movie does feature some brief, full frontal nudity in a showering context but this is not intended to be sexual.
Society of the Snow isn’t a fun watch, but it is remarkably well made. More to the point, it’s a captivating story with a lot of narrative momentum that (nearly) compensates for the nearly two-and-a-half hour runtime. I wish they’d trimmed it down a little, but this is by far still the shortest way to experience 72 days of brutal survival at the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, without much hope of rescue or reprieve. Like I said: Not a fun watch. Just a good one.Directed by J.A. Bayona. Starring Enzo Vogrincic, Simon Hempe, Rafael Federman. Running time: 144 minutes. Theatrical release January 4, 2024. Updated January 4, 2024
Watch the trailer for Society of the Snow
Society of the Snow
Rating & Content Info
Why is Society of the Snow rated R? Society of the Snow is rated R by the MPAA for violent/disturbing material and brief graphic nudity.
Violence: People are killed and injured in accidents, with graphic depictions of injuries including lacerations, broken bones, and penetrating wounds. There are also depictions of survival cannibalism, with limited details.
Sexual Content: There are brief scenes of male nudity in communal showers in a non-sexual context.
Profanity: There is one sexual expletive and occasional mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen smoking cigarettes and drinking.
Page last updated January 4, 2024
Society of the Snow Parents' Guide
What are some of the ethical implications of cannibalism in survival scenarios? What are some other examples? How did the survivors of the 1972 Andes disaster handle it compared to other instances – The Starving Time at Jamestown Colony, or the Donner Party, or the surviving crew of Franklin’s Lost Expedition? How did the passengers’ Roman Catholic faith influence their perspective?