Society of the Snow Ending Explained – How are the remaining survivors of Flight 571 rescued?

By Lori Meek
Published: January 4, 2024 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
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Society of the Snow Ending Explained
Society of the Snow | Image via Netflix

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS

During the Society of the Snow, we watch the survivors as they try to establish radio contact with the outside world while rationing their dwindling food supplies. They even resort to eating the remains of their deceased friends to stay alive. There are many parts in the film where it seems like the group members have no chance of making it out alive, but in the end, they are rescued thanks to the actions of two brave men.

In a devastating twist, Numa, who’s been acting as the audience stand-in and narrator, succumbs to his infection. After his death, Nando, Roberto, and Tintin make the brave decision to trek over the mountain in hopes of getting help for the remainder of the group. 

At this point, the group has been stranded for more than two months, and the expedition is likely their last chance of going home. After reaching the top of the peak, Nando and Roberto decide to continue the arduous journey across the Andes, while Tintin returns to the plane to inform the rest. 

The final act is split between Nando and Roberto’s arduous journey trekking the mountain while the rest of the survivors try to hold on and await rescue. While lacking mountaineering equipment, Nando and Robert traverse the Andes for ten days. 

How are the remaining survivors of Flight 571 rescued?

Nando and Roberto’s trek leads them to a valley where the snow has already melted. Roberto gets food poisoning from eating their rotten meat supply, but thankfully, while refueling their water at a river, the two come across a farmer who informs the local authorities. 

The two men receive food and warmth at the farm, while authorities scramble to organize a rescue mission for the 14 people who stayed behind on the plane. It doesn’t take long before the two survivors are swarmed by reporters and cameramen.

Meanwhile, back at the crash site, the remaining survivors listen to a radio announcement about Roberto and Ando’s emergence. Nando joins a rescue crew to show them where the crash site was. 

Knowing they’re about to be rescued, the 14 make a small effort to groom their appearance and pack the belongings they saved from their deceased friends. On a riverbank, Roberto takes his bag of remaining “food” supplies, buries it, and prays over it. 

How does Society of the Snow end?

Two helicopters arrive to save the 14 who were waiting by the plane. Numa’s narration explains how 16 survivors were rescued on the 22nd of December 1972. The film shows shots of them reunited with their families and the hoards of onlookers who came to see what many classed as a miracle. 

The movie’s final shots show the survivors receiving medical care and getting to hug their loved ones, while Numa’s narration briefly describes the aftermath of their return. News outlets called them heroes, while the general public wanted to know every last detail of their ordeal. All the while, the 16 men have to make sense of what happened to them and tell the story on behalf of those passengers who, like Numa, weren’t lucky enough to make it off the mountain. 

What did you think of the ending of Society of the Snow? Comment below.


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