Roberto And Nando In ‘Society Of The Snow’: Where Are They Now?


Society of the Snow, directed by JA Bayona, made us privy to nature’s wrath and how, at times, we, in our own delusions, underestimate how helpless it is capable of making us as a species. When Uruguayan Flight 571 crashed in the Andes, everybody believed that, like always, there would be no survivors. Even after a few days, the search was stopped because till that day no one had come out alive from there. But the survivors showed a lot of determination, and together, they motivated each other to keep finding ways to inform the authorities that they were still alive. There were a few people who took charge of things, and Numa, Fernando “Nando” Parrado, and Roberto Jorge Canessa were among them. They not only gave their all, but they made sure that others didn’t lose hope. So, let’s find out how they boosted each other’s morale and how they escaped death and came out of there alive.

Spoiler Alert

How did Nando motivate Numa?

Nando lost his entire family, but still, he didn’t lose hope, and he knew that he would be able to escape from the Andes. Numa, on the other hand, was still skeptical about it, though he explicitly never stated it. I personally believe that had Nando not been there, Numa would have given up and surrendered a long time ago. Though Numa and Marcelo took charge of things from the beginning and made sure that the entire group coordinated with others and combined their efforts to fight the odds, there were still times when they both doubted if they would ever be able to get out of there.

Meanwhile, Nando kept training because he knew that physical fitness was of utmost importance. For Nando, nothing else mattered more than coming out alive from that situation. I am not saying that the others didn’t want to come out, because obviously nobody would have wanted to meet such a tragic end, but the survival instincts in Nando were the highest. He always saw the silver lining in everything, and there was this innate belief that he would go back to his home, which somehow, I believe, fueled his physical strength, too. It was very clear that, apart from the excruciating cold, hunger, and other physical aspects, there was also psychological warfare going on. Nando was winning that mental war very convincingly, without leaving any room for doubt, and that, in turn, vitalized his inner core and gave him so much strength that he was a part of every quest that they undertook, be it when they went to find the tail of the plane or when, in the end, they decided to cross the mountains and look for help.

The group members decided to find the tail of the plane, as they believed that they could find batteries there that they could use for making a radio. Nando was the first choice to be a part of that small contingent because he was the most agile, and the possibility of him reaching there was higher than anyone else. When the passengers realized that they would have to resort to cannibalism, Nando agreed to do that, keeping his religious beliefs aside. Numa wasn’t able to do it, but Nando and others kept on convincing him. Nando always told Numa that there was no novelty in dying in such a manner, and if there were any gods who were up there, they would forgive him because he didn’t eat human meat out of his own choice. Nando told Numa to keep training, as there would come a time when they would have to make the big climb. He fed him with his hands at times when Numa just felt disgusted about eating the human meat, but still, the latter just kept losing hope. He lost that mental warfare, and Nando could see him slipping into a deep and dark abyss bit by bit. Nando tried his level best, but he couldn’t save Numa. Nando knew that Numa had left a void that nobody else could fill, and probably, he would remember him for his entire lifetime.

How did Numa’s death change Roberto?

In the Society of the Snow, we saw that Roberto was one of the strongest players on the team, and that was why everybody, at least his teammates and those who knew him, banked upon him to help their cause. Roberto, Roy, Nando, and Numa went to find the plane, and in their second attempt, they even reached the point where the tail was lying. Roberto was scared at times, and that fear of going out of his comfort zone hindered him from taking risks and finding the way out. Nando had been trying to convince Roberto to come with him to make the climb, but the latter was hesitant. He was scared that they would reach a point of no return and not be able to find any human habitation either. Nando knew that if they wanted to give themselves a genuine chance, then it was imperative for Roberto to come with him.

Numa’s death became a turning point in the scheme of things. Roberto realized what Nando was telling him from the very beginning: they would have to try and find a way because to just sit there and not do anything was equivalent to dying by suicide. Something changed inside Roberto when he saw his friend die right in front of his eyes. He instantly turned towards Nando and told him that they would make the climb. But that new-found enthusiasm was short-lived. When they reached the top of one of the peaks, Roberto again told Nando that he should go back. But Nando wasn’t ready to do so after climbing and putting in so much effort for hours. Roberto put his faith in his friend and didn’t leave his side, which was probably the best decision he could make. So, as much as Numa’s death motivated him, I believe that had Nando not been there, Roberto would have surrendered even before utilizing his full potential.

Are Roberto and Nando still alive? 

Fernando “Nando” Parrado is alive, and he is doing well for himself. Currently he has his own business and he also worked as a television producer. Nando says that time is the biggest healer and over a period of time he has been able to get over the traumatic experience and the kind of loss and grief he experienced back in the Andes.

Roberto Jorge Canessa on the other hand went on to have a career in medicine. He is still alive and doing pretty good for himself. One interesting fact about Roberto was that he also ran for the president of Uruguay, though he didn’t win it. The accident changed Roberto from within later he said in his autobiography how it fueled his desire to save lives. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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