“Walking the Camino” documentary

Camino Documentary

Directed by Lydia Smith

Santiago de Compostela, June 4th 2013

Several years ago, I heard of this documentary that was in the making about the Camino de Santiago. It was an independent production, funded mostly by private donations. It has taken Lydia several years, but now the 1 hour and 24 minute documentary is done. Last night I attended the european premiere in Santiago de Compostela.

Many of you might have seen “The Way” a film with Martin Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez. A fictional story that takes place on the Camino de Santiago. I thought it was quite good to be a Hollywood production, but with  a few strange bits. But overall, a good story. I have read in the forum that many show “The Way” to their friends and family to explain what the Camino is about… what it is they are considering walking. And until now, “The Way” was the best film out there to explain it.

After seeing “Walking the Camino” yesterday, I would recommend this over “The Way” if you are looking to see what the Camino is all about. For pilgrims thinking of walking, and for friends and family to see what this thing called the “Camino de Santiago” is all about. I myself, do not have a lot of camino experience, but I have listened and helped pilgrims online for almost 10 years, so I think I know what it is all about. This Camino documentary is as close to the real experience as you can get, without walking it.

The documentary follows 6 pilgrims on their walk along the Camino Francés. We follow then as they start out, get tired, blisters and overcome the obstacles they get confronted with, and finally arrives in Santiago. It is real… no dreamy everything-is-easy-and-great story. The Camino is hard, and you see it in this documentary.

If you are a Camino fan, or thinking of walking the Camino, I would highly recommend you to have a look at this film. Lydia is trying to sell the film to TV and movie theaters, so it is still unclear how you can see it where you live.

If you are interested, I would recommend to join their facebook page or e-mail newsletter for the latest updates.

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  • Jacinto Silva Duro

    Too much people on the French camiño. I’m going to try the Portuguese way, from down under, all the way to Muxía. A new, pristine, way!

  • Julie

    Do you know how long it is going to run? We won’t get to Santiago de Compostela until late September, and it would be great to see it there.

    • Brian Forbes Colgate

      Julie, you can see several clips from the movie at the Documentary’s YouTube site: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCaminoDocumentary
      There are 33 clips there … some are promotional from recent film festivals, but many are from the movie itself, and portraits of peregrinos/-as and hospitaleros/-as. Enjoy!

  • Pingback: “Camino the Journey to Santiago”, a short Camino Documentary | Camino de Santiago

  • Carlos M Galceran

    Dear Ivar,
    you mentioned in your review “The Way”, a 2 hours long fictional
    movie as having a few strange bits. I have just watched the trailer of “Walking
    the Camino” and have found not only strange but disappointment, going from music more suitable to a visit to the other Santiago to a French dude, in the middle
    of Obradoiro Square calling for Revolution and Che Guevara (a notorious
    criminal, with several hundred victims in Cuba) and that only in 3:30 minutes!
    Is it just me? I think Lydia Smith was planning to make a documentary about “Walking the Camino” to Santiago de Cuba and somehow got confused with the side of the Atlantic.
    Buen Camino,
    Carlos Galceran, Hamilton, New Zealand

    • Tomasso Marino

      Dear Carlos,

      If in a 3m30s trailer you chose to focus on the 3s where a persons makes a joke with a kid while on voice over you hear his sister say that she is not there to play around you have not only missed the point of the trailer and the film but that of the entire Camino. There are more appropriate forums for you to vent your politics.

      Buen Camino,
      Tom

    • Scott Dean

      Hello, Carlos:

      I’m sure you are a very nice man with good intentions. I must disagree, quite vehemently, with your description of the documentary trailer. I have walked a portion of the Camino and used that beautiful film trailer as “fuel for my fire” to keep me excited as I worked away and saved money. There is such a larger scope to this that you have missed, Carlos.

      Of course we all have our opinions and it does seem silly to expect that we all would agree on one. In this case I must agree with Tom in the previous comment. **Your unkind and insulting words are not necessary.** It’s painfully obvious to the rest of us that these few seconds you mentioned were used to portray the extreme differences between these two characters (the brother and sister) than to sing praises of Che Guevara. Could it be that you are focusing too narrowly and too literally here?

      If you intend to walk the Camino, I do wish you well and that you will find a place in your heart to cultivate kindness in your words and actions. This is a GORGEOUS film about love and inner journeys. I wish you well on yours.

      Buen Camino,

      Scott, USA

      ps… Thank you for posting this beautiful trailer for the world to see, Ivar! The film is such a beautiful testament to the Camino. As any previous walkers will know, it seems like an impossible task to capture the spirit of the Camino. I believe Ms. Smith has done this and made the Camino the main character!

    • Nancy Powers

      “Walking the Camino” is an incredible work of art. Creating a documentary or any film with a story line is a great effort. “Walking the Camino” follows the progress of 6 Pilgrims. I enjoyed this documentary and its authenticity. My husband and I could relate to not only the geographic locations but also many of the emotions shown in the film.
      This film has inspired us to walk the Camino de Santiago again.

  • Patty Moak

    I was fortunate enough to see the documentary in Ashford, WA. I laughed, I cried, I cheered and didn’t want it to be over. I”ll see it again and again and will own the DVD when it comes out. Thank You Lydia, for giving us such a beautiful, validating film.

  • Arthur Rogers

    I was at the European Premier of the film. Saw it twice, once at the invited guests and once again in the public showing. Absolutely brilliant film about the Pilgrims, made by Lydia (who is also a Pilgrim) and sponsored by Pilgrims. It shows the Camino as it is, blisters and all. A brilliant production and deserves all the acclaims that it has received.
    Thank you indeed Lydia for making this film.

  • Bill

    I found this film a disappointment. It follows a handful of all-too-typical camino walkers, most not particularly articulate and none of them challenged by the documentarian to answer questions that might clarify their thoughts either for themselves or the viewer.

    It evoked reality television with participants, except for Tomas and perhaps Willem, of the same quality that TV offers us.

    “Spirituality” is thrown around as a catch-all term for everything from faith to touchy-feely sensitivity, and no one dares use a more critical or analytical term like “psychology” to come to terms with their camino experience.

    In a word, banal.

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