It’s easy while focusing on the fictional and biographical tales that take on elements of fiction to forget that there are some amazing tales throughout the world that are just as amazing as anything that an author or filmmaker can come up with. Yet it’s fair to say that a lot of these amazing tales almost never get noticed unless someone steps forward, and it’s then that the scrutinizing begins and people come to realize that their tale, however amazing, is bound to suffer the disbelief of the masses if only because it wasn’t documented in a manner that people prefer. But the story of Julian Koepcke is worth its place as a TV movie or even as a streaming movie since the hellish ordeal this woman had to go through is something that would test quite a few individuals and push them to their limits and beyond.
Having spent a great deal of time with her parents in Peru in a research station within the rainforest, Juliane has told of the ordeal she suffered while flying home as their plane somehow fell apart, sending the passengers and crew plummeting roughly 2 miles to the unforgiving earth below. Amazingly her tale is not quite as hopeless as people might think, but trying to imagine the pain from her injuries, which included a broken collarbone, torn cartilage in one knee, and various bruises and scrapes, is hard for many people to do. Despite all this, and likely stumbling about for a bit, Juliane apparently regained her bearings after a while, and despite her location stuck to her wits as much as possible as she started to make her way through the rainforest. One can only imagine the disorientation and desperation that must have been plucking at every nerve in her body, but somehow she made her way forward for ten days, managing to keep herself alive thanks to the fact that she’d spent a good amount of time within the confines of the forest, and knew at least enough to get by.
One can only imagine the relief she felt when coming upon a boat after several days of being stuck in the wilds, but the part she tells of the maggots that had infested one of her wounds was particularly nasty, not to mention the fact that she had to pull them free after dousing them in fuel. Even better for this story is the fact that she tells of the men that found her in their encampment and helped her to return to her father. The worst part of this however is that she did find several of those that were in the plane with her, though none survived. Her mother was found reportedly but did not survive after being brought to the hospital. It feels morbid to think about cashing in on a story like this, but if there’s inspiration and a message to be taken from it then it would be worth the effort since it would no doubt make it known that being down doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out. Simply surviving the crash would be amazing enough, but surviving the added exposure of the days to come is even more amazing.
It might be time for someone to stand up and pay attention when it comes to creating an accurate representation of this story, especially since it recognizes the idea not of courage perhaps, but of the willingness to keep pushing forward and do what is needed to survive. Movies concerning the human spirit tend to be a hit-and-miss kind of deal like many other ideas since it depends on the director, the writer, and the actors involved. But this almost feels like it would be a movie on par with Tom Hanks’ Castaway, without the years of seclusion. It might make for a decent story if someone found it worth picking up.
Simply learning about this story was impressive enough, but thinking that it should go without being told is kind of up to Juliane really since she’s the one that would have to retell it, and thereby relive it. After so long though one might think that she’s made her peace with it, and would have found be able to tell the story again and regale a director with the story in her words. Or, it could be something that she’s been needing to get off her chest for a while, and she’s bound and determined to keep it a simple story that she could relate to those who would listen. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear that someone might option the story and run with it if they get permission, but until that happens it’s little more than a thought of what could happen, not what will come to pass. It’s an amazing story though, that much is easy to agree with.
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