A remarkable film about a great 20th-century adventure

If you’re killing time waiting for Lost’s season finale, you could do worse than to rent Stranded (2007). This absolutely riveting, deeply moving documentary about the survivors of a 1972 plane crash is available now on DVD.

The plane was carrying a team of Uruguayan rugby players; it crashed somewhere in the Andes. Ten weeks later, two very skinny, very dirty players made their way to civilization. There were 16 survivors in all, and director Gonzalo Arijon persuaded all of them to describe their experiences after the crash. Arijon skirts the story’s sensational aspects (i.e., cannibalism), concentrating on the players’ struggle to survive. Their tenacity will amaze you, and this film will linger in your memory.

Editor’s note: Friday’s VSL misidentified Ira Glass’s Public Radio International program, This American Life, as an NPR show. We regret the error.

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