Erebus: Into the Unknown, an award-winning documentary, premieres in UK theatres today. In the aftermath of a plane disaster in Antarctica, a team of New Zealand police officers is dispatched to investigate. A jet crashed into a mountain in broad daylight as the group worked to collect the victims. Taking inspiration from the documentary, Top 10 Films features seven films that show the courage, humanity and loss of some of the world’s most tragic real-life events.
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1. Erebus: Into the Unknown (Charlotte Purdy & Peter Berger, 2015)
Recovering victims of a catastrophic commercial jet disaster is documented in an award-winning documentary about four New Zealand police officers who were sent to Antarctica as part of the police mission to recover their remains. Passengers on an Air New Zealand plane with 257 aboard went missing over Antarctica on November 28, 1979. Eleven police officers were summoned to Mount Erebus within a few of hours. An investigating team worked to solve the enigma of how a plane could fly into a mountain in broad daylight while the police rescued the victims.
2. Touching the Void (Kevin Macdonald, 2003)
Climbers attempted to reach the peak of Siula Grande in Peru in 1985, a task that had previously been attempted but never accomplished. Over the course of several days, Simon Yates and Joe Simpson climbed the mountain. Joe falls off an overhang, causing Simon to cut the rope that binds them together on the way down from the summit. Simon continues his descent, believing him to be dead. In spite of this, Joe survives the fall and must now find a way down. Here, Joe tells the full account of their horrific voyage and how he was able to return to civilization.
3. The Impossible (J.A. Bayona, 2012)
When a deadly tsunami hits a beach resort in Thailand, a British family on a Christmas vacation is shattered. It is based on Maria Belón’s and her family’s traumatic experiences during and after the 2004 Indian Ocean Boxing Day tsunami. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor both received great accolades for their performances. Maria and Lucas, her eldest son, are the focus of the film, which chronicles their journey to safety as they don’t know if Maria’s husband and their two other boys are dead or alive.
4. 127 Hours (Danny Boyle, 2010)
After a boulder fell on Aron Ralston’s arm and trapped him in a lonely canyon in Utah, 127 Hours, which has been nominated for six Academy Awards, tells the true account of his amazing journey to save himself. For five days, Ralston contemplates his existence and battles the elements before realizing he has the bravery and resources to save himself, no matter how harsh the measures are that are required. Friends, lovers, family members, and the two hikers Ralston encountered before his accident are all mentioned in Ralston’s voyage.
5. Into the Wild (Sean Penn, 2007)
A 1996 non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild is based on Christopher McCandless, a recent college graduate who sets out to live in the Alaskan wilderness without any of his belongings. With limited food and tools, McCandless set out to live a simple life in the wilderness for a few days before succumbing to the elements. Many people have been inspired by this young wanderer because of what occurred to him on the route. He was changed into an iconic figure for many because of the events that happened to him on his journey.
6. United 93 (Paul Greengrass, 2006)
United 93, the airliner that was hijacked on 9/11 and crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, was the subject of a critically acclaimed real-time depiction of the jet’s final journey. The film was made with the help of the families of all the passengers and attempts to capture the events, experiences, and acts of all aboard the plane from departure till the fatal crash as accurately as possible.
7. Open Water (Chris Kentis, 2003)
Tom and Eileen Lonergan, an American couple, were on a dive-boat excursion on the Great Barrier Reef in 1998 when their tour boat unintentionally abandoned them at sea. Open Water depicts the frightening narrative of two lovers battling to survive and keep sanity after their tour boat abandons them.