Netflix Daily Pick: Struggling to Survive in ‘Alive’ (1993)

Today's pick is a harsh survival film that poses some disturbing questions.

Alive is a 1993 drama about a Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the snow-swept Andes and forced to use desperate measures to survive after a plane crash.

Today’s Netflix pick is a bit of a disturbing experience but an inspiring one nonetheless, a film that documents a real story that shocked many when it came to light. It stars Ethan Hawke and Vincent Spano among many others and while it is sometimes hard to watch, features plenty of human drama and courage while forcing the viewer to ask of themselves, “What would I do?” It’s Alive and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.

THE STORY: Directed by Frank Marshall, it follows the fateful crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 in the Andes in 1972, which carried an entire rugby team, along with some friends and family. After experiencing some turbulence and cloud cover, the plane strikes an uncharted mountain peak, dismantling the plane and sending the shredded fuselage careening down a steep slope until coming to a rest high up in the desolate mountains. Many die but several survive, including team captain Antonio (Spano), who takes charge and works with the others to stay alive, eventually taking some drastic measures to stave off death.

Alive
Alive, 1993 © Film Andes S.A.

WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: There’s something about a good based-on-real-life story of survival that ignites some passion for life and while there are some disturbing scenes, not the least of which is the crash itself, there is much here that fill you with awe. Certainly there are liberties but the story itself is a remarkable one that concentrates on the characters and social breakdown that follows in the weeks of being stranded with no hope of rescue. The performances are the thing and as choices must be made, the whole lot are convincing in portraying what is surely the worst one must face in such terrifying conditions. A terrific drama and story of triumph over adversary, Alive is one of those films you must see at least once. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.

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