In Netflix’s ‘Society of the Snow,’ a group of passengers are tested to the limits of their mental and physical strength when their plane crashes in the Andes, and they are stranded there for more than two months. To keep themselves alive, they have to do things they never even considered before, which puts them in a moral dilemma. The film is narrated to us by Numa Turcatti, one of the passengers, who finds it difficult to hold on to hope as the days pass and there is no sign of rescue. What happens to him by the end of the film? Is he rescued? SPOILERS AHEAD
Numa Turcatti Dies Before Rescue Arrives
At the beginning of the film, a rugby team boards a flight to Argentina, and one of the players persuades his reluctant friend, Numa, to get on the flight and accompany them. It’s supposed to be a fun thing for the friends as this is the first time most of them are leaving their country, but it turns into a completely different thing the next day when the plane crashes.
The moment he gets out of the wreckage with surprisingly little to no injuries, Numa sees mountains covered with snow all around them. The crash threw them into a valley, and they had no idea where they were. With each day, the hope of getting rescued dwindles and eventually dies when it is revealed that the rescue has been called off. Things get even worse when the survivors realize that the only way they can stay alive and not die of starvation is by eating the dead passengers.
While it is easier for others to accept this fate, Numa and a couple of other survivors don’t agree to it so easily. He watches his friends eat the ones that died and is visibly repulsed by the act. However, he cannot deny that eating is helping others while he is getting weaker by the day. Eventually, when it looks like he has no other option and that he’ll surely die if he doesn’t eat, Numa forces himself to consume the flesh, and that breaks something in him.
On the 18th day since the crash, they are buried under snow for three days after an avalanche. Surrounded by dead bodies and hunger taking hold of them, his friends start to eat inside the confined space. Refusing to follow their act, Numa breaks through one of the windows of the fuselage and sustains a cut on his leg. Because there is nothing to treat the wound and because Numa doesn’t eat properly, the wound festers and gets infected, eventually rendering Numa unable to walk. His friends try to help him, but there is only so much they can do to help him with no resources and Numa refusing to eat.
Once Numa becomes bedridden, it also feels like he has given up in a way. At that point, he is one of the only seventeen survivors. All the people who survived the crash but were injured had died by now, and Numa knew that with his injury, he wasn’t going to survive long either. As he watches his friends make plans for the expedition to find rescue, he hopes and wishes that they find help and get out of the hell they have all been trapped in for so long, but he doesn’t hold that hope for himself.
A couple of days before his death, Numa confides in Nando Parrado that he has accepted his fate and that he is not going to get out of the mountains. Even though Nando asks him not to be so hopeless, it’s clear that Numa has accepted his fate. He even goes as far as to tell Nando that should the need arise; his friends can eat his body to keep themselves alive. It’s a great sacrifice on his part, especially considering that he was one of the few who were against eating the dead.
On the day that the sleeping bag for the expedition is completed, Numa Turcatti dies in his sleep, succumbing to his illness. He is the last one to die, as the rest sixteen survivors are rescued about two weeks later. His death is a huge blow to the group, and it shows them that they are in a “now or never” situation, which prompts Roberto Canessa to declare that it’s time they embark on their journey and save themselves. So, even though Numa doesn’t survive, he leaves his friends with a heightened conviction for their own survival.