Society of the Snow: Who is Pablo Vierci? Was He on Flight 571?

Image Credit: The Upcoming/Youtube

Netflix’s ‘Society of the Snow’ tells the harrowing true story of the unimaginable situation that the passengers of Flight 571 found themselves in when their plane crashed in the Andes. The movie takes the audience through the entire journey- before they boarded the plane, the build-up to the crash, and their indomitable spirit for survival for more than two months. The film is based on the book of the same name by Pablo Vierci. Because his name never shows up as one of the passengers on the plane, the audience is bound to wonder about his connection with the flight and the passengers.

Pablo Vierci was Not on Flight 571

Pablo Vierci is a writer and a journalist who wrote ‘Society of the Snow,’ published about 35 years after the event and serves as the basis for J.A Bayona’s film. While the book delves deep into the experiences of the survivors as well as the victims, it is not a direct account of the events as Vierci was not one of the passengers and didn’t go through those things. He did, however, know the survivors as well as most of the victims of the crash, and it was his intimate knowledge of them that allowed him to write such a detailed and heartfelt account of the events.

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Vierci was about 22 years old in 1972 and attended Stella Maris College in Montevideo. Nando Parrado was his classmate, and while Vierci was not on the rugby team, he was familiar with the team members, all of whom later boarded Flight 571, which crashed into the Andes. Talking about that time when he and the rest of the people in Uruguay heard about the crash, Vierci revealed that the news broke him and his other friends in Uruguay. At 22, he and his friends never thought about dying or even being in any situation like that. But when they heard about the crash, with no sign of their friends for the next 72 days, “everything broke in [their] heads.” They didn’t know that there were survivors, and the hope of anyone coming back after two months was barely there.

When the survivors came back and had settled into their lives, Nando Parrado approached Vierci to help him write a book about his experiences. Vierci had already proved himself to be a great writer by that time, and working with Parrado, he got real insight into the events as they had happened. Even though Vierci was not one of the passengers, he considered it his responsibility to help tell the story to the world because he was one of the few people who knew the victims, most of whom had barely been in their early 20s.

Apart from telling the stories of the survivors, Vierci also wanted to bring forward the point of view of the victims. For this, he had extensive conversations with the survivors as well as the families of the victims. He added his own knowledge and acquaintance with the victims to create a picture of the events as they might have happened. He brought the victims’ perspective on equal footing with the survivors, which caught J.A. Bayona’s attention, who decided to make a movie on it.

Where is Pablo Vierci Today?

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Now in his 70s, Pablo Vierci is a celebrated writer in Uruguay, with several awards to his name. He has had an illustrious career in journalism, having directed a newscast program for several years. In 1987, he was awarded the Second National Prize for Literature of Uruguay and received the Citi Journalistic Excellence Award at Columbia University in New York in 2003. He has also authored many books, several of which have received prestigious literary awards.

Apart from co-authoring Nando Parrado’s book about the events of the crash, Vierci also helped Roberto Canessa in telling his version of events by co-authoring his book, ‘I Had to Survive.’ Apart from this, Vierci has written several other fiction and non-fiction books. In 2004, he was awarded the Second National Prize for Literature of Uruguay and the Gold Book Award from the Uruguayan Chamber of Books.

While Vierci is a public figure, he likes to keep his private life to himself. He has often talked about his work on the ‘Society of the Snow’ book and his relationship with the survivors and the victims. However, he prefers to keep things about his family and personal life to himself.

Read More: Roberto Canessa: Where is Andes Flight 571 Plane Crash Survivor Now?