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A group of men sits in the snow next to the wreckage of a plane crash in this photo by Misión de Audaces Films.
Much like the “Yellowjackets” survivors, the survivors in “Society of the Snow” are stranded with the wreckage of their plane, scattered luggage, and limited resources. (Image: Misión de Audaces Films)

As “Yellowjackets” fans, we need shows and movies to watch and fill our time until Season 3 arrives on our screens early next year. If you want something thematically similar, look no further than the recent Netflix film “Society of the Snow.” The Spanish movie, which scored two Oscar nominations, tells the real-life story of a Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashes in the remote Andes mountains on their way to a rugby match in 1972. If this sounds familiar, that's probably because the 1993 movie “Alive” told the same story — and both the real-life ordeal and “Alive” served as partial inspiration for “Yellowjackets.”

The similarities are noticeable. “Society of the Snow” and “Yellowjackets” are stories of survival and friendship. Both depict people in experiences that are hard for most to fathom. Both also fascinate us, even though one is based on a true story and the other is a work of fiction. Here's exactly how the two compare.

The Men of the Andes and the Women of the Wilderness

A group of uniformed men on a sports team pose for a picture on a rugby field in this photo by Misión de Audaces Films.
The Old Christian Club Rugby team is depicted in “Society of the Snow” before and after the fateful plane crash. (Image: Misión de Audaces Films)

It’s hard to hear a story like the one depicted in “Society of the Snow” and not admire the real-life people who lived through it. The grit, determination, faith, and will power that carried those men through their 72-day journey in the Andes is awe-inspiring. The film adaptation of their mind-boggling ordeal is a heartbreaking portrayal of the real men’s experiences in the mountains.

Throughout the movie, we get to know a few survivors of the initial plane crash. Nando Parrado (Agustín Pardella), Roberto Canessa (Matías Recalt), and Numa Turcatti (Enzo Vogrincic) become familiar faces by the end of the film, but (spoiler alert!) sadly, Numa passes before the survivors are rescued. Before he dies, he leaves a note for the other men that reads, “There is no greater love than to give one's life to friends” and tells them, if necessary, they could consume his body to stay alive.

In “Yellowjackets,” we've gotten to know specific survivors of the crashed plane carrying the Yellowjackets soccer team to nationals. Like in “Society of the Show,” some of the plane's passengers died immediately while others struggled with life-threatening injuries. The death of Jackie (Ella Purnell) was unexpected, and the group never had a conversation about eating one another if they became desperate, but the “Snackie feast” shows the group descending into cannibalism to survive. The “Society of the Snow” characters ultimately do too. It was life or death, and the survivors in both stories chose life.

The Journeys Back to Civilization

Two men trek through the snow in this photo by Misión de Audaces Films.
In “Society of the Snow,” Tin Tin (Agustín Della Corte) and Roberto (Matías Recalt) set off on a hike during one of the group's failed attempts to find help. (Image: Misión de Audaces Films)

One of the biggest similarities between “Society of the Snow” and “Yellowjackets” is that both groups of survivors are eventually rescued and live to tell what really happened to them out there. While we have yet to find out how the teens are rescued in “Yellowjackets,” “Society of the Snow” shows the men's rescue in harrowing detail. Once the men realize no one is coming to save them, they know the only way they'll be rescued is if they look for help. Fortunately, they're successful.

“Yellowjackets” viewers have theorized that something similar may happen on the show. In “Society of the Snow,” it's Nando and Roberto who hike over 30 miles in 10 days, crossing into Chile and finding people to rescue the remaining 14 survivors at the crash site. We can't help but wonder if a duo will emerge in “Yellowjackets” that will also somehow be responsible for the group's rescue. 

Survival of the Fittest

Several men are huddled together to keep warm in this photo by Misión de Audaces Films.
Nando (Agustín Pardella) and Roberto (Matías Recalt) huddled together in the fuselage for warmth, much like the “Yellowjackets” characters do in their cabin. (Image: Misión de Audaces Films)

Both groups in “Society of the Snow” and “Yellowjackets” have no choice but to turn to cannibalism to survive. This decision for the men in the Andes comes much sooner than it does for the team in “Yellowjackets.” “Society of the Snow” shows the lengths the rugby players go to survive before having to resort to eating the dead — they actually attempt to eat seat cushions from the plane wreckage. All of the men stranded in the Andes are deeply religious, and eating another person is considered to be a sin and viewed as taboo. But after 10 days with no food source, it's decided by the majority of the group to begin eating the deceased. 

The Andes is an unforgiving and extremely harsh environment. The elevation where the men are stranded has no naturally occurring flora or fauna — just snow and rocky mountains as far as the eye can see. They’re forced to huddle together for warmth and make do with what little clothing they have. In one scene shortly before the group becomes trapped in the wreckage due to an avalanche, there’s a discussion about giving their bodies to their friends to eat after their death so others can survive. 

In “Yellowjackets,” the wilderness provides plenty of shade, and amidst the mountains are bodies of water that the group uses for drinking and bathing. Still, as winter sets in, the cold is increasingly unbearable. They also run out of food sources. After Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) beats Lottie (Courtney Eaton) to a pulp in Season 2, Lottie tells Misty (Samantha Hanratty) that if she dies, the rest of the group needs to make use of her body. Lottie gives them her blessing to eat her if it comes down to it. Lottie was demonstrating Numa's message: In death, there is no greater love than to give one's life to friends.

Colder Than Cold

Three men are huddled together in this photo by Misión de Audaces Films.
As Nando (Agustín Pardella), Roberto (Matías Recalt), and Tin Tin (Agustín Della Corte) attempted to hike away from the crash site, we breathlessly waited to see if they all would survive. (Image: Misión de Audaces Films)

One of the most captivating aspects of “Society of the Snow” is the survivors' sheer will to continue onward despite the overwhelming challenges the deserted mountain environment throws their way. Freezing temperatures, no food, avalanches, and the slow death of their friends plague the survivors throughout their 72-day ordeal. Keep in mind that Uruguay is a coastal, low-lying country with beautiful beaches. Most of these men had never seen snow a day in their lives. None of them were prepared to face the elements in the way they were forced to. Their only form of shelter was the mangled fuselage that barely fit all the survivors comfortably. Because the plane broke apart in the impact of the crash, they remained completely exposed to the elements. 

Yet they continued on, never giving up. Nando and Roberto climbed to heights over 14,000 feet to find help without any traditional climbing equipment, no supplemental oxygen, and barely any food. The only reason they managed to survive the freezing temperatures at night was because one of the other survivors figured out how to sew together a makeshift sleeping bag out of material used for insulation inside the plane. 

While initially exposed to the elements with only parts of the crashed plane as their shelter, the “Yellowjackets” characters miraculously stumble upon an abandoned cabin in the woods. It isn't stocked with much, but it provides them with an indoor area and basic resources. But in the Season 2 finale, we see the cabin unexpectedly burn down as the survivors look on in shock. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see how the teens deal with the loss of the cabin and their only form of shelter and protection. The cabin managed to keep most of them alive for the first nine months. How will they survive the next 10 before the inevitable rescue? 

The Heart of the Matter

A man kneels in the snow in this photo by Misión de Audaces Films.
Numa (Enzo Vogrincic) prayed for rescue but never saw home again. (Image: Misión de Audaces Films)

One of the biggest differences between “Society and the Snow” and “Yellowjackets” is the length of time each group of survivors is stranded before their eventual rescue. Whether 72 days (as in the case of the rugby boys) or more than a year and a half (as with the soccer girls), it’s hard to imagine yourself in either scenario. The fact that any of them manage to survive for as long as they do in the circumstances they're in is a miracle in itself. 

Another significant difference between the film and the TV series is that the latter is pure fiction. As much as we've cried over Javi's (Luciano Leroux) death, he isn't a real person. “Society of the Snow,” while not a documentary, portrays real people. It's heartbreaking when you pause and let it sink in that, although you're still watching characters in a movie, those characters are based on people who really did go through the unimaginable, with some, like Numa, not making it out alive.

Netflix offers an English-dubbed version of “Society in the Snow,” but we recommend watching in the original Spanish for authenticity. Director J.A. Bayona takes his time and tells the survivors' story in a way that's never been done before, despite past efforts like “Alive.” He personalizes the experience of each man there and portrays their ordeal in a magnificently shot and well-put-together film, one that reminds us of why we love “Yellowjackets” so much. From the power of the show's needle drops to its hard-to-watch moments, it feels like we're watching people we know go through a life-or-death crisis.

“Society of the Snow” took home Best Picture and several other honors at the Goya Awards — Spain's version of the Oscars — in February. Regardless of whether an Academy Award for Best International Film follows, it’s a movie that will stick with your soul long after you finish watching, much like our favorite show.

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