Plane crash survivors become cannibals: The true story behind Society of the Snow.

In preparation for filming, Bayona conducted interviews with the men who lived through the experience, with one survivor, Carlitos Páez, playing his own father in the film.

The director opted to not focus too much on the cannibalism element, with scenes of the men eating human remains not shown on film, rather alluded to in faraway shots.

“This is a horrible story that is never focused on the horror,” he told BBC Culture. “The way we approach the story is quite the opposite. It’s focused on the human aspect of the story and on the friendship, on the extreme generosity they had to each other.”

So what actually happened? The details of the real story are disturbing to say the least.

The true story that inspired Netflix movie Society of the Snow. 

On October 12, 1972, an amateur Old Christians Club rugby team boarded a flight from Montevideo, Uruguay to Santiago, Chile for an exhibition match. Due to bad weather, the plane was forced to land in Mendoza, Argentina.

The next day, even though the weather was still chaotic and there were high winds, the plane took off for Santiago. It would never reach its destination.

The aircraft could not fly directly over the Andes Mountain range, so the pilots attempted to fly in a U-shape to cruise through the mountain pass, but they descended too quickly and instead crashed into a mountain in Argentina.

Both wings and the tail tore off, splitting the plane in half, and the wreckage slid down the mountain until it hit the bottom of the valley. “I was thrown with an incredible force, and as I was fainting, I was realising that I was alive and the plane had stopped,” survivor Roberto Canessa told ABC News in 2023.