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Disparaging "The Way"

2020 Camino Guides

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Someone said earlier that the Sheen family put up their own money to finance the movie but I don't think that's correct. They did not get financing from the Hollywood studios so they looked for and got financing from private investors. And also from some public investors. This may shock or astonish some of you but in Europe it's not unusual that public money is granted for certain film productions.

I remember reading once that the Xunta of Galicia gave them a subsidy. While I was looking for an article with relevant information, another article popped up that caught my attention. It's not easy to read for me and I've used the DeepL translation website so far but I will try to figure it out in a more accurate translation myself later. I find this great to practice Spanish. Anyway, some of you may enjoy it: Cuando Martin Sheen se metió a peregrino - El Correo Gallego. The author writes in 2018 and looks back at what they (in Galicia) thought about it when they first heard in 2009 or so that Martin Sheen was going to do a movie about the Santiago pilgrimage, and how it panned out in the end: this movie, being an American movie, could have been much worse ... ☺.
 
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C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Feeling identified and personally attacked by what is merely another opinion?
I don't see that happening on this thread.

It does sound like I'm in the minority about this film
But I think you misinterpret. Not all of us love the film. I agree with the OP's observation that there are some people who love to hate it, and who offer explanations for why other people seem to love it! As @Kathar1na put it:
basically we are saying that other people are just dumber and less critical than ourselves and believe and follow what celebrities do or say while we don’t.
By the way, in case anyone wonders, I think @VNwalking and I enjoy a good discussion/debate with each other anytime! 😀😎
 

Isobeljc

Still walking
Camino(s) past & future
Frances “2017”
Aragones “2018”
Portuguese “2018”
So the numbers have not quite doubled in10 years. Wouldn’t call that a huge increase, compared to the increase in the number of Koreans. And what about all those Aussies & Kiwis? What motivated them?
I’m an Aussie who watches Hollywood movies, but had never heard of The Way when we decided to walk in 2017.
We first heard of the Camino from a client In the early 2000’s when she walked. In 2017 my husband listened to an interview about a women who took her disabled sons on it. He said to me, how about we walk the Camino?? Found this wonderful forum, friends told us about the movie and six weeks later we were in SJPP.

Personally I do love The Way and recommend it to those who ask about the Camino. I tell them it’s a great introduction but without the blisters. Every so often I watch it again when I need a Camino fix, but often skip bits like the arrest scene. The book is also worth reading. Not just about the filming, but for their family story also. It tells a lot about Charlie’s struggles.
Thank you Estevez family for allowing me to revisit Spain when I cannot physically get there.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
I think you are confusing actual numbers with the changing percentage of Americans. In 2008 the pilgrim office recorded 2214 pilgrims from the USA - 1.8%. In 2018 those figures had risen to 18,582 or 5.68%. A substantial increase both in absolute numbers and in the proportion of Americans on the caminos.
Almost 10X the number of Americans then. But what's influencing all those other pilgrims on the Camino? is there a different cultural phenomenon for each nationality? The Italians, the Croatians, people from India? Maybe, just maybe, it might be the work of the Holy Spirit?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
But what's influencing all those other pilgrims on the Camino? is there a different cultural phenomenon for each nationality? The Italians, the Croatians, people from India?
I can barely believe that that is a serious question.

Do this: Go to Google News. Go to Language & Region. Pick Italy/Italian. Enter Cammino di Santiago. Look at the results. Go to Language & Region. Pick Germany/German. Enter Jakobsweg. Look at the results. And so on. And so on.

Go to Oficina del Peregrino. Click on Preparación. Look at the lists of Cofradias en el mundo and Asociaciones en el mundo.

Walk into a bookshop in Germany, France, Italy. Go to the travel section. Count the number of books on the Camino de Santiago.
 
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SEB2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2015), CP (2016), part of Vasco (2019)
@VNwalking I am sure that you are not in a minority regarding your opinion, it's probably that those of us who find something good or relevant in the film, and knowing that it's often criticised for being sentimental etc., are acting a little like a colony of creatures gathering together when sensing attack. In addition, forum members who think like you that the film is over-rated, or who just don't like it, will no doubt see the title of the thread, say "yawn, yawn, yawn, not another thread on 'The Way'" and mark it as to be avoided. Your comments are, as always, a useful leavening of opinion. Please don't stop challenging uncritical emotional attachments to cultural products, for therein lies a danger for us all, as history as shown repeatedly.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
I can barely believe that that is a serious question.

Do this: Go to Google News. Go to Language & Region. Pick Italy/Italian. Enter Cammino di Santiago. Look at the results. Go to Language & Region. Pick Germany/German. Enter Jakobsweg. Look at the results. And so on. And so on.

Go to Oficina del Peregrino. Click on Preparación. Look at the lists of Cofradias en el mundo and Asociaciones en el mundo.

Walk into a bookshop in Germany, France, Italy. Go to the travel section. Count the number of books on the Camino de Santiago.
Thanks for the heads up. Just haven't been able to do that much research. But after just re-watching the movie (which by the way I only saw after walking the Camino), it seems that things were pretty crowded than as well. Still like the movie, the only part that seemed somewhat forced was the part involving the Gitano community.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
But I think we in the U S.are coming over in droves because of the movie...me personally...I'll be walking my 6th this coming spring!
In 2000, the wife of a priest at church, I am Episcopalian, was going for her 50TH.

I followed in 2001.

Americans, even non-Catholics knew of the way.

And, speaking of SHIRLEY, I did read her book. And, as I have previously jabbered. Because of SHIRLEY, I spent the night in Rabanal shivering at the thought of “her” dangerous dogs in Foncebadon.

Santiago kept both Shirley’s horde of mad dogs and Coehlo’s dog at bay while I traversed through the village.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
By the way, in case anyone wonders, I think @VNwalking and I enjoy a good discussion/debate with each other anytime! 😀😎
Second that - indeed. We don't disagree on that much, actually, so it's a novel experience.
And buen camino over there on the Vasco, @C clearly !

Please don't stop challenging uncritical emotional attachments to cultural products, for therein lies a danger for us all, as history as shown repeatedly.
It's lovely to have you back, @SEB. And I appreciate having my opinions questioned. Moving in lockstep with people who agree with me can create a bubble...
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Found it. So just to contribute something new to the discussion: According to El Mundo of 10 November 2010, it cost 3,8 million dollars to make the movie, which is a modest budget. The government of Galicia contributed 700,000 euros.

And according to this film review in El Blog de Ciné Español of 2013, the movie did quite well in the USA (and in Australia) where they took in 4,4 million dollars despite a limited release but in Spain it didn't even reach 500,000 euros, and the reviewer concludes that it's a film that reaches foreigners more than ourselves.

I've now read a few Spanish reviews - I'm always curious about the view from Spain instead of about Spain ☺ - and it struck me that they classify the movie as a "road movie", albeit one without cars.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I'm not trying to make a point here, I just find this amusing:

[Interviewer]: How did you end up selling the film?​
Martin Sheen: We never sold it.​
Emilio Estevez: We got a Spanish partner. We worked as EU citizens, so we got great tax incentives, great tax breaks—I have an Irish passport, and so does [Martin].​
Source: Interview of 10.6.2011
 

Thomas V

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 & 2017 FRANCES, 2018 Portuguese, 2019 Norte Irún to Santiago
I can only say thanks to the Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen for the film that first educated me about the the Camino! Despite what some might say of its accuracy, it motivated my wife and I to do our first Frances from St. Jean In 2016. We just completed our fourth Camino, the Camino del Norte from Irùn to Santiago last week. So thanks to the family and film that really changed our lives!
 

mancinco

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
"2017"
I’m biased. I loved it despite it’s faults.
And it really annoys me when people dismiss it with the throw-away line “Hollywood Movie” with every derogatory implication that goes with it. Just today I read that the modern popularity of the Camino derives from "Coelho, MacLain, Hollywood". I take the point, but did you mean "Coelho, MacLain, Estevez"?

Credit where credit is due folks. It was a labour of love by the Estevez family, INDEPENDENTLY financed, and intended as a homage to their own family heritage. Estevez himself describes it as a film inspired by a grandson, made by a son, starring a father, honouring a Galician grandfather, or words to that effect.

The making of that film owed nothing to Hollywood. Give it a break.
 

Sglam

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, fall 2019
I’m biased. I loved it despite it’s faults.
And it really annoys me when people dismiss it with the throw-away line “Hollywood Movie” with every derogatory implication that goes with it. Just today I read that the modern popularity of the Camino derives from "Coelho, MacLain, Hollywood". I take the point, but did you mean "Coelho, MacLain, Estevez"?

Credit where credit is due folks. It was a labour of love by the Estevez family, INDEPENDENTLY financed, and intended as a homage to their own family heritage. Estevez himself describes it as a film inspired by a grandson, made by a son, starring a father, honouring a Galician grandfather, or words to that effect.

The making of that film owed nothing to Hollywood. Give it a break.
Here here
 

ess1113

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016
I am thankful to every account I see or read of the Camino whether it’s Hollywood or independent.
All of these stories are what got me walking the Camino and for that alone I am deeply indebted. I may see the Camino differently than others and I pray our memories are different so we can realize the differences but I am just one of the millions that have walked the Way.
My thanks to the pilgrims that have gone before me and my envy to those that will go after me.
 

Sam - AU

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Apr/May 2018, Feb/Mar 2019 .... upcoming Nov/Dec 2019
Dear fellow pilgrims,

If you look at the statistics you will have a clue that it is not only "Hollywood", Coelho and MacLain had an impact on the Caminos.

Most of the german / german speaking pilgrims are attracted to the CF by the book "Ich bin dann mal weg" ("I'm off then" in english) written by the famous german comedian Hape Kerkeling. He walked in 2001 and the book was released in 2006.
Many german speaking readers had read the book from Coelho, but the impact of Kerkelings book is far greater, that's for sure.
Well said and very correct re: Hape’s book.
There was also some Korean documentary that is the apparent reason behind the large number of Koreans on the trail these days also.
 

digger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mozarabe; Almeria to Santiago May & June 2016
Getting back - sort of - to my original point, for those of you who have expressed such positive sentiments about the film, you might be interested in the book which Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez published called “Along the Way”, which sets their personal life-story in counterpoint to their experience in conceiving and making the film.
There is another book: Jack Hitt's work "Off The Road" obviously influenced the making of the film. Huge chunks of it form the basis of the screenplay and even the script. Still the best book on the subject for my 2 bob's worth.
Digger
 

Davo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean - Burgos Oct 16
Sarria - Murcia Sep 17
I’m biased. I loved it despite it’s faults.
And it really annoys me when people dismiss it with the throw-away line “Hollywood Movie” with every derogatory implication that goes with it. Just today I read that the modern popularity of the Camino derives from "Coelho, MacLain, Hollywood". I take the point, but did you mean "Coelho, MacLain, Estevez"?

Credit where credit is due folks. It was a labour of love by the Estevez family, INDEPENDENTLY financed, and intended as a homage to their own family heritage. Estevez himself describes it as a film inspired by a grandson, made by a son, starring a father, honouring a Galician grandfather, or words to that effect.

The making of that film owed nothing to Hollywood. Give it a break.
That film provided me with the inspiration to walk the Camino in the first place. Change of career, midlife ‘crisis’, children leaving home. We have just returned from completing the Camino Frances, spread over 3 years and three trips. Just loved the people we met on each of those journeys. And a fair number connected with various characters from that film! 😉
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Well, inspired by this thread I have just rewatched the film. I can see where people are coming from who say that the film is more "Hollywood" because of the way it has been dramatized (the episode in Burgos with the Romani comes to mind). I can also see where people are coming from who say it reflects their Camino experience and takes them back. My chief problem with it, despite its many attractions, is that the featured pilgrims spend so much of the movie not being nice to each other. In that, I don't find it an accurate reflection of my experience with other pilgrims. When I have made it clear I want to walk alone (as the character Tom does for much of the first half of the movie) fellow pilgrims are content to let me do so. The pilgrims in the movie spend so much time putting each other down for most of the movie, although they become a "family" by the end. I found that part of it quite jarring.

Maybe they needed to create conflict for dramatic purposes, but in my experience of the Camino, the real conflict isn't with other pilgrims but your own endurance and blisters, shin splints, bed bugs and the other challenges of the Way that they ignored to focus on the personality conflicts.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Maybe they needed to create conflict for dramatic purposes, but in my experience of the Camino, the real conflict isn't with other pilgrims but your own endurance and blisters, shin splints, bed bugs and the other challenges of the Way that they ignored to focus on the personality conflicts.
That is one of my issues with the film too. But that may be a very personal judgment. I find the whole "Camino family" concept difficult to grasp and quite unappealing. My first Camino was very much a solitary experience and even today I much prefer solitude to the almost obligatory social interaction of the busier Caminos now. I am very aware that for some people the relationships formed with other pilgrims are essential parts of their own Caminos. Not what I look for in my journeys.
 
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janeen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2015 sept 2018
My introduction to the camino was through shirley maclaine book Camino.I read that book when it came out in the 80s because I had read everything else she had written. I didnt particularly like the book but the parts where she talked about walking on the camino spoke to me. I wasnt a hiker, had never been out of Australia yet I said to myself one day I'm I'll walk that trail. It layed dormant for nearly 30 years and and one day I woke up and just said to myself it's time. Today I have walked in 2015 and 2018 and finally did the whole 800km in one go. I'm now planning a third trip. It was how the camino called me and I'm grateful to those people who pointed me in that direction, no matter how cheesey that may be to others.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Found it. So just to contribute something new to the discussion: According to El Mundo of 10 November 2010, it cost 3,8 million dollars to make the movie, which is a modest budget. The government of Galicia contributed 700,000 euros.

And according to this film review in El Blog de Ciné Español of 2013, the movie did quite well in the USA (and in Australia) where they took in 4,4 million dollars despite a limited release but in Spain it didn't even reach 500,000 euros, and the reviewer concludes that it's a film that reaches foreigners more than ourselves.

I've now read a few Spanish reviews - I'm always curious about the view from Spain instead of about Spain ☺ - and it struck me that they classify the movie as a "road movie", albeit one without cars.
Could that just be the way the article, originally in Spanish, was translated into English via a computer program? Anytime something is translated from one language to another via a computer program, things are quite often as they say, lost in translation....
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Maybe they needed to create conflict for dramatic purposes, but in my experience of the Camino, the real conflict isn't with other pilgrims but your own endurance and blisters, shin splints, bed bugs and the other challenges of the Way that they ignored to focus on the personality conflicts.
Thanks, David. You've perfectly articulated one of the things that bothers me about the film. They probably couldn't have done otherwise, because tension and drama are required - that's what manipulates our emotions. And two hours of relative harmony, blisters, aches, and bodily odors would never have made much of a plot.
(They lost me to eye-rolling at the pack into the river scene...I mean...really?)
 

Nick B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - May/June 2018
Portugese - (2019)
Norte - (2020)
No killing, violence, sex, explosions, remake(how many times can they do Batman or Star Wars), war jingoism movie(US soldiers always the heros) or another movie on the Nazis to go with the other 895 made.

Plenty of positives right there.

Saw a video of Estevez where he stated that ''Hollywood made a lot of crap as he and his father had been in them', he also didn't want to kill people as it's standard for Hollywood rubbish.''

I enjoyed the movie and found parts of it an accurate reflection of the behaviours while walking, I can't understand how people could ""disparage"" 'The Way then part with their money to watch a Hollywood movie or even worse a 'blockbuster'.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I can't understand how people could bag 'The Way''then part with their money to watch a Hollywood movie or even worse a 'blockbuster'.
Me neither.
The last 'blockbuster' I saw was Titanic, which put me over my lifetime allowance of 'I spent good money on this?'
I agree completely, Nick: compared to that, The Way is heaps better.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
A bit of a mixed bag of opinions on that movie. A movie released in 2011, I believe and one that apparently had modest commercial success yet also apparently had quite an effect of many people who watched it. So much so it motivated them to walk the Camino. The very subject of the movie. Kudos to that.
I've never found myself critical of the movie's lack of realism in what pilgrim's wear, blisters, bedbugs, sore feet etc. I mean, who cares? None of that really played a role in any Camino I walked and I have walked quite a few. I do not even care that the movie was out of sequence in locations of the route or shot scenes off the Camino. Again, who cares? I spent a fair amount of time in the army. I do not watch every movie portraying the military in it and jump up and yell "that's all wrong!" every time I see a technical foul up.
A good little independent movie. Entertaining. Not superficial CGI shite like they spew out these days in great quantity. I have a DVD copy of it and also have it in my amazon movie collection.
 

dreampainter

New Member
'I love how it follows along with the Wizard of Oz.'

i haven't seen the film since it came out. but i'm interested in what you say here about it follows along with the wizard of oz. was that in the film? i can't remember. or was it alluded to? or part of the format?

muchas gracias, buen camino.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Could that just be the way the article, originally in Spanish, was translated into English via a computer program? Anytime something is translated from one language to another via a computer program, things are quite often as they say, lost in translation....
Nope, not all. I can also now see why reviewers put it into the movie genre “road movie”. It has nothing to do with Spain or Spanish. A quote from The Telegraph, a UK newspaper: “Even if all the travelling is on foot, this is a road movie of sorts, and thus lessons will be learned during the physical and metaphorical journey.”
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Not until I saw the movie did I give any weight to the acting skills of Martin Sheen. His facial expressions were perfectly suited to the emotional context of the plot and they were beautifully displayed by the director of the film. While some would look for the graphic locus, to me the story was the meld of four distinct disparate personalities. If even for a moment, that is the lesson taught by The Way. It is not Hollywood, nor is it the geographic locations. It is the spirit of Saint James and an example of some that listened to the call. To that, I thoughtfully appreciate.
WHAAAAT??? Marting Sheen acting skills in The Way???
Huh, have you seen Apocalypse now? And the hotel room sequence?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I am aware of only one Forum member who has made "professional" films. That leaves the rest of us to be amateur critics, blithely unaware of the craft except from a theater seat as we eat popcorn. I love to expound on my areas of ignorance! I say "The Way" is fiction somewhere between "Captain Apache" and "Casablanca" in quality.
And which one would that be?
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Btw, until this movie and the forum discussion about it, I knew next to nothing about Martin Sheen The Person. Since then, I’ve watched a few interviews or talks he gave and I read his Wikipedia article. Married since 1961 - that’s 58 years and no divorce - and arrested about 66 times for protests and acts of civil obedience. It doesn’t make the movie or his performance in it any better but that’s stuff I wouldn’t hold against him ☺.
Ahem: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000640/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1
 

majormarco

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
may 2015
Someone said earlier that the Sheen family put up their own money to finance the movie but I don't think that's correct. They did not get financing from the Hollywood studios so they looked for and got financing from private investors. And also from some public investors. This may shock or astonish some of you but in Europe it's not unusual that public money is granted for certain film productions.

I remember reading once that the Xunta of Galicia gave them a subsidy. While I was looking for an article with relevant information, another article popped up that caught my attention. It's not easy to read for me and I've used the DeepL translation website so far but I will try to figure it out in a more accurate translation myself later. I find this great to practice Spanish. Anyway, some of you may enjoy it: Cuando Martin Sheen se metió a peregrino - El Correo Gallego. The author writes in 2018 and looks back at what they (in Galicia) thought about it when they first heard in 2009 or so that Martin Sheen was going to do a movie about the Santiago pilgrimage, and how it panned out in the end: this movie, being an American movie, could have been much worse ... ☺.
The year after the movie came out, and there was a new interest in the Camino. The Spanish economy just edged out of a recession, some called it a Camino led recovery.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Well, in this case I don't think I'm cynical, just realistic.
Thinking aloud here...
We go in to a movie feeling however we do, and then depending on the content we then get happy, sad, scared, inspired, horrified...whatever.

A big part of the experience - and a big part of the intention of the filmmaker, too - is the creation of the emotions a movie evokes. So in the process of watching we are being manipulated, willingly, and generally in a totally benign way.

And part of the disagreement about any movie (and certainly this one) is because different people have different emotional responses to it. The reasons we give for the responses are cognitive - about the plot, the acting, the cinematography, whatever - but that response is often based on something deeper, at a gut level.

So if someone rolls their eyes at a film I am totally inspired by, I'm likely to have a strong and maybe personal reaction. So with this.

And the thing is we're each right, because we respond how we respond, and that's OK.
 

freeflyer123

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
Surely the whole point of this film, love it or hate it, is that it has truly inspired many people to do the walk themselves? When I watched it I already knew about the Camino de Santiago through various contacts, but many don't. And watching the film would have definitely whetted their appetite. Having watched The Way I had long wanted to get onto the Camino but it was only when circumstances allowed (retirement, someone to look after my mother while I was away, etc.) that I said to my husband "right. Let's go". His answer was that he would love to do it but only on his bike. Which is why we rode the Camino instead of walking it. After all, there was a scene in The Way which showed that some people chose to take on their own personal Camino on a bike. My afterthoughts have been mixed. As we had ordinary bikes we stuck more to the roads than the paths. But oh we missed to much because of this. And all too soon we had arrived in Santiago where those who had set out the same time as us still have a few more amazing weeks left. They would have been better for the richness of it. My memories are no less cherished than those who got to walk the route and I still love rewatching The Way if only to revisit the places we stopped in.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
i haven't seen the film since it came out. but i'm interested in what you say here about it follows along with the wizard of oz. was that in the film? i can't remember. or was it alluded to? or part of the format?
Estevez and Sheen have said a number of times in interviews that Estevez deliberately used parallels with "The Wizard of Oz": the "quest" structure of the film, the characters of the four main actors and even the idea of a yellow trail leading to a far off magical place where problems are expected to be solved!
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
And Muxia?
Yes, of course Muxia. I meant only two shots on the Camino Francés.
When I went to watch the film in 2010 I was indifferent te the Camino. The reason was to see how Galicia was treated because I knew Martin Sheen´s origin and that it had been financed by the Xunta.

I felt rather dissapointed because Galicia has low weight on the film IMHO discounting Santiago and Muxia (ashes). Nevertheless, I liked the film in general (which is not a documentary and therefore random Spanish gypsies can speak fluent English).

The film didn't change too much my indifference to the Camino. Actually my first camino was the Primitivo in 2013 and the reason was "to check the survival of the Asturian language in western Asturias and the evolution of Pote Asturiano to Caldo Galego along the camino" (cultural reason I think),

What happened was that during that Camino I got the pilgrim feeling and here I am repeating it every year so far. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Leon - Santiago (2015); Ingles (2016); Baiona - Santiago (2018); Pamplona - Burgos (2020!)
The pop culture moment that first inspired me to investigate the Camino was the Oysterband song, "The Road to Santiago." Even then I knew I probably wouldn't encounter a priest dancing with a whore. ;-) I'm able to discern between artistic license and the real world (possibly because I'm a fiction writer, who knows?).

With that in mind, it should be no surprise that I adore The Way. The mixed up geography bothers me not, the fact that they don't spend time every day tending to their feet makes me laugh but not scorn, but visiting the Camino from my home in LA whenever I want? Priceless.

It doesn't hurt that Martin Sheen (the first time he introduced himself to me as "Marty" I nearly passed out - it was while he was President Bartlett) and I cross paths irregularly at mass in Santa Monica. I admit to some bias. :)
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
But it's a movie, not a documentary ;)

I love it. Have watched it about 20 times and it inspired me to walk the Camino.
And my first Camino........was very like the movie! It had all the key 'components' :eek:
THANK YOU! That is a very valid observation.
I believe I've mentioned before in one (or couple) of my previous posts that I've spent 13 years of my life doing American Civil War Living History\Re-enactment. The equivalent (if you will) to the situation at hand would be the movie "Gettysburg" (oddly enough - starting Martin Sheen :oops:). By all means - in "the Hobby" it was known as 'DA MOVIE"
I cannot tell you how many numerus times various arguments sprang up from anything DA MOVIE-related.
Some people didn't like this, while other - that. I've heard arguments akin to "Robert E. Lee would NEVER...,insert the 'never' here>!!!!!!!" - as if they themselves were the best friends of the man and knew him intimately....
Of course part of it was a joke that "if its in DA MOVIE - it must be so", which, as a fast side point brings up a subject of throngs of very disappointed and sometimes even mad tourists that were seething because Buster Kilrain's name is not on 20th ME monument (Buster is one of very few fictional characters, so...yeah!!! 😄)

I love the movie but always took it with a grain of salt and tried to caution people that Its a FICTIONAL movie based on FICTIONAL book. Both the author and then the producers\script writers took certain 'liberties' as befitting in such cases. And thats all there is to it

I LOVE "The Way". Since my Pastor mentioned it more than 3 years ago I have watched it may be not 20 but close to a dozen times and never fail to recommend it to anyone I speak to.
It is unquestionably inspired me to walk the Camino as well... and heck it is now only 1 year, 7 months, 6 days (and counting!) away as oppose to roughly 2.5 years when I first started contemplating it seriously!
I cannot wait and will be HONORED by walking in the footsteps of so many, incl The Esteemed Members of this Board!
:cool:

so Hollywood - bring it on!!!
 
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Redhead Keith

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francé: 2005: 2016
Inglés: 2017
Salvador: 2018: 2019
Primitivo: 2018: 2019
I'm with PeregrinoPaul!
Different countries make films in different ways, a reflection of their cultures and mindsets.
Australian films, for instance, have a rawness and underplayed but brutal honesty that sometimes jars to an english mindset. You can't watch a French film without a Gitane in your mouth and a glass of Pernod in your hand :).
And English films? So different from American films - think how Four Weddings and a Funeral would have been made in America! .... so to call The Way 'Hollywood' is an error I think, better to call it American perhaps as 'Hollywood' seems to be a little derogatory and means 'slick' somehow, whereas 'American' doesn't, don't you think?
And then, one American actor, one Canadian, one Irish, one Dutch ..... Spanish film crew ....

Personally I love The Way, it is my virtual Camino during the winter and I would be embarrassed to say how many times I have watched it. It isn't a documentary so it doesn't have to be in linear order. I find the characters realistic - and all great films are about development of character, and all the main characters develop and change ... I particularly like that the actors were not given a script for the cathedral but were told to do whatever they wanted to do - the Dutch actor had absolutely no idea he would fall on his knees, it was an impulsive response that shocked him.

By the way, I recommend watching it at least once with the colour turned off on your tv so it is monochrome. Whereas pilgrims moving through the landscape stand out from it in their bright colours, in black and white they are part of the landscape, and the brilliant camera work can be truly seen in monochrome, every expression becomes real ... try it, trust me, it becomes an Art film.
I think Werner Herzog should direct a film about the Caminos.
 

Tom Quinn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
(2020)
Getting back - sort of - to my original point, for those of you who have expressed such positive sentiments about the film, you might be interested in the book which Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez published called “Along the Way”, which sets their personal life-story in counterpoint to their experience in conceiving and making the film.
There is another book: Jack Hitt's work "Off The Road" obviously influenced the making of the film. Huge chunks of it form the basis of the screenplay and even the script. Still the best book on the subject for my 2 bob's worth.
Digger
Thank you for that. I've ordered a copy.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Would Werner Herzog be interested to do a movie or a documentary about something as banal as the mass marches on the Camino Francés I wonder.

I watched his short documentary “Pilgrimage” on YouTube yesterday but that’s about religious fervour, something I have not yet detected in great quantities along the CF, and not about walking for hundreds of kilometers which is a defining element of the Caminos.

I also learnt that Herzog did walk long distance himself, with interesting motivations, ie not the usual stuff like finding himself, becoming a better person, or taking time out etc etc. Once as a young man, from Munich to Paris, cities that are some 800 km apart from each other; he wrote a book about it, Of Walking in Ice: Munich - Paris: 23 November - 14 December, 1974, and I am now tempted to read it. And later he walked some 1600 km, apparently as closely as possible along the borders of what was then West Germany and a country in its own right.
 
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David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I love the Camino and, by association I love the film, but it just occurred to me .... are we not making a mistake here?

As in - is The Wizard of Oz about the land of Oz or is it about a journey four characters undertake, how they gell together, and eventually 'find' themselves; what they want, who they really are?

Does it matter that Two Gentlemen from Verona is set in Milan?

Surely the place is merely the vehicle for the story?

If so then surely The Way is the same? Apart from the family's desire to do homage to their ancestors and the country they came from, and their religion, then for the character development of each person the journey could have been on a winter impeded train across the mid-west trying to get home for Christmas.

But! I love it as it is set on the Camino - Love it!!

As for finding oneself .. well .. could be problems there, be careful what you pray for ;) .

5901548253e7b91555a8a58e1d553a28.jpg
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
As for finding oneself .. well .. could be problems there, be careful what you pray for ;) .
I have no problem finding myself - I own several mirrors. And wherever I go it is the same grumpy old bugger looking out of them. On the day when I see someone else looking back I will consider that "hallucination" rather than "revelation" 😉
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
... Jack Hitt's work "Off The Road" obviously influenced the making of the film. Huge chunks of it form the basis of the screenplay and even the script. Still the best book on the subject for my 2 bob's worth.
Digger
I believe that the credits in the movie state that it is based on his book and, therefore by default - the movie Jack is Jack Hitt
While I found it 'amusing' I was less than impressed by the book as it looked to me (mind you just MHO nothing more) that he was in some way poking fun at practically everything.... :rolleyes:
Just to point to a book (not to hijack the subject) I was extremely impressed by Ashlee Cowles' Beneath Wandering Stars YA Reading (still reads "juvenile" to me) but because of that "easy reading" with somewhat predictable situations and even stereotypes, but.... SO MUCH packed into it if one chooses to chew on it a bit!

We now return you to our regular program!
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
Well said and very correct re: Hape’s book.
There was also some Korean documentary that is the apparent reason behind the large number of Koreans on the trail these days also.
Yip, I talked to some of them in July.
It's not only documentaries, some of them said there is running a show in Korean TV that features a Korean guy as an Hospitalero on the Camino francès.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
V
Surely the place is merely the vehicle for the story?

If so then surely The Way is the same? Apart from the family's desire to do homage to their ancestors and the country they came from, and their religion, then for the character development of each person the journey could have been on a winter impeded train across the mid-west trying to get home for Christmas.
Viewed the movie again this weekend, just to check on what all the hubbub was about. After reading all the opinions on this thread, I can away with a great regard for the film than I had previously, as I was able to see a lot more in it than I had before.
I like the comparison with the Wizard of Oz, except that in this film the main character is the Tin Man rather than Dorothy.
But one thing that's not really been mentioned here is that the central point of the movie is about Tom's loss of faith, and how it affects his relationship with others and with himself. The first place he goes after hearing of his son's death is to a church, even though he feels there's no point. He goes on pilgrimage to heal his relationship with his son, which also leads to the healing of his relationship with himself and his faith. If that's what's inspired so many more Americans to walk the Camino then I'm all for it.
Some twenty or so years ago I was in SJPP as a tourist (went up by train just to ride my bike back down into Hendaye), and the place was packed with pilgrims then, I think mostly German. But I didn't think I had the ability to walk over the Pyrenees and across Spain at the time. So no, the movie didn't influence me, but I'm happy if it's influenced others.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Thank you for that. I've ordered a copy.
So did I. Found a deal on a used one on ebay.
I first heard that Estevez wrote the script based on the Hitt book several years ago when I watched an interview with him and Sheen on a youtube video.
 
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Peregrinopaul

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Sanabres (2018) Frances reverse(2018)
But one thing that's not really been mentioned here is that the central point of the movie is about Tom's loss of faith, and how it affects his relationship with others and with himself. The first place he goes after hearing of his son's death is to a church, even though he feels there's no point. He goes on pilgrimage to heal his relationship with his son, which also leads to the healing of his relationship with himself and his faith. If that's what's inspired so many more Americans to walk the Camino then I'm all for it.
Some twenty or so years ago I was in SJPP as a tourist (went up by train just to ride my bike back down into Hendaye), and the place was packed with pilgrims then, I think mostly German. But I didn't think I had the ability to walk over the Pyrenees and across Spain at the time. So no, the movie didn't influence me, but I'm happy if it's influenced others.
- [ ] I agree with you. The theme of “faith, lost and found” would have been one which Martin Sheen could closely identify with. He went completely off-the-rails after Apocalypse Now, and identifies Charlie’s problems with his own struggles. Interestingly he was influenced to come back to his faith after conversations with Terrence Malick, who had directed him in his first starring role in that classic movie Badlands.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Of course it's a Hollywood film. How do you think it would get into the cinemas otherwise? Even so, it is likely the best Hollywood film which could be made of the Camino. Even with its (many) weaknesses, it gives viewers the flavour of how an accidental posse develops into solid bonds, of the daily grind, of the tremendous landscape, and of the varied response of arrival in Santiago. I saw it once, which was enough, and have a feeling of ambivalence on its effect on the Camino, but I would urge a realistic appreciation of a fair attempt.
Actually, it is a Hollywood-ish film. It would be a mistake to avoid its documentary qualities. And the only real relationship to Hollywood is created by the influence and storyline given by the Estevez / Sheen Family as well as their personal contributions in front of the camera.

"What about the non-linear use of many scenes as well as some non-Camino scenes? Sure these are the practices of Hollywood. But they are few and may only raise the ire of the true Peregrino Aficionado.

It may be good to watch the movie one more time, simply to verify present feelings or perhaps update them. However, I truly doubt, however, that this movie is responsible, alone, for the increased Camino traffic. Instead, perhaps consider blaming the efficiency of present day social media, sharing of experiences by photo and short videos on dozens of social media sites, as well as those few who emulate the Estevez / Sheen team by creating their own Camino Documentary, of which there are dozens. In fact, there is a Family that now hosts live conferences on FaceBook, answering questions about Camino experiences, issues, etc.

Is, "the Way," responsible for the wave of information on the Camino that is available today? Maybe. I concede that. In honesty, the deeper answer to this needs to acknowledge that there is no hypnotic mechanism creating the need for people to walk the Camino. They take on this personal challenge for very personal reasons. And when viewed in this circumstance, we see an incredible journey that has an infrastructure to support the seekers who find themselves on the Camino.

Maybe we all have a base need to go on Pilgrimage?
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
Re: all the posts about "faith lost & found" and as it relates to the movie
the same Pastor that "clued me in" to the movie posted this on her blog. The overall theme was regarding the use of insense during the Services, however I believe that the above excerpts apply in the context

A member of this congregation lent me a DVD of the movie “The Way.” What a wonderful movie! From the back of the DVD: Martin Sheen plays Tom, an irascible American doctor who comes to France to deal with the tragic death of his son (played by Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen’s real-life son and the director of this movie.) Rather than return home, Tom decides to finish the pilgrimage his son was making, as a way to honor his son. So Tom walks “The Way of St. James” also known as “El Camino de Santiago” to the burial place of St. James. Tom does not plan on the profound impact this trip will have on him as on the way, Tom discovers the difference between “the life we live and the life we choose.”
As I watched this wonderful movie, I kept thinking how are they going to conclude this movie in a way that will do justice to it? Well, the makers of this movie found a way! And that way involves incense. I thought, “Oh wow!” And then the movie had an even more powerful ultimate conclusion. This is a terrific movie that I recommend to you most highly: The Way, from 2010 or 2011, starring Martin Sheen. Wonderful movie!
But the point of this blog is not only to recommend this movie to you. I want to say a few things about incense because we will be using it at worship this week.


<few things about incense that I took the liberty to exclude> :)

In the movie “The Way”, when the makers of the movie want to show Tom’s spiritual awakening toward the end of the movie, they have five or six Eastern Orthodox priests come out to begin swinging a HUGE censer that hangs on a bell-rope from the very-high ceiling of the huge church. As the priests pull the rope, this huge censer swings the entire length of this church — and what the movie makers are doing is using all of the powerful symbolism of what incense means to highlight the spiritual awakening that is happening with Tom: the mystery of the presence of God in worship, the prayers of the faithful rising to His throne, the activity of the angels who always worship God (and more).

Not sure about tiraboleiros being Eastern Orthodox priests (and 6 vs 8 at that) but obviously it spoke to my Pastor as a movie that focused on faith lost and found and she saw a great merit in it

Interestingly enough, the same Pastor, when I mentioned to her the other 'thorn-in-the eye' subject of the board namely anything that has to do with influx of 'tourists' vs 'pilgrims' and all that comes with, said
I think people are starving for Spiritual Faith. Look, they could be anywhere, hiking any other trail(s) and yet they chose to go on the Camino. They are lost, perhaps not even realizing it.
Perhaps there is some Truth to that. I did not want to get into any arguments (if you will) about the popularity of "Bucket Lists". In the end - I would sincerely wish that her view was more 'correct' than mine, sad as it may be....

(Did I mention previously that I LOVE THE MOVIE?! ;)😇)
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
The Way was released in Nov 2010 (in SdC) UK May 2011, USA Nov 2011, Japan June 2012.
2011 was 23 % over pre-Holy 2009. 2012 was a 61% increase over 2011. 2013 was a 33% increase over 2012. Then USA traffic stabilizes at about 10% per year. So with 2012 and 2013 the big increases I would attribute to the movie (which I generally liked, but grateful that it was not what set my camino expectations)
1571240353116.png
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Not sure about tiraboleiros being Eastern Orthodox priests (and 6 vs 8 at that) but obviously it spoke to my Pastor as a movie that focused on faith lost and found and she saw a great merit in it
It might explain why it is so expensive to pay for the Botafumeiro to be used: Eastern Orthodox priests are probably pretty scarce in Santiago at the best of times and hiring half a dozen of them must cost quite a bit. Would it save money to use Catholic priests instead since there always seem to be a few of them hanging around anyway?
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
In the movie “The Way”, when the makers of the movie want to show Tom’s spiritual awakening toward the end of the movie, they have five or six Eastern Orthodox priests come out to begin swinging a HUGE censer that hangs on a bell-rope from the very-high ceiling of the huge church. As the priests pull the rope, this huge censer swings the entire length of this church — and what the movie makers are doing is using all of the powerful symbolism of what incense means to highlight the spiritual awakening that is happening with Tom
I absolutely love it that there are five or six Eastern Orthodox priests who come out and make the Botafumeiro swing in the movie "The Way". :)

One can obviously see all sorts of things in a movie or how a movie ends or what messages it carries. I hesitate to comment further but that scene reminded me of a similar scene that I saw in another film production, also called "The Road to Santiago". The main person in it, a publicly known figure in his own country, grew up as a Roman Catholic but was no longer practising; he gets very emotional during mass in the Cathedral while the Botafumeiro swings, and I think these are his true emotions and not just for show. It was, however, most definitely not a sign of spiritual awakening; definitely not a sign of faith lost and found again. That's perhaps the reason why I don't see this happening in the movie "The Way" either.
 
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gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
- [ ] I agree with you. The theme of “faith, lost and found” would have been one which Martin Sheen could closely identify with. He went completely off-the-rails after Apocalypse Now, and identifies Charlie’s problems with his own struggles. Interestingly he was influenced to come back to his faith after conversations with Terrence Malick, who had directed him in his first starring role in that classic movie Badlands.
To me what Martin Sheen says at 5:20 is the key to his portrayal of Tom in the movie.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
they could be anywhere, hiking any other trail(s) and yet they chose to go on the Camino. They are lost, perhaps not even realizing it.
Assuming I am one of "them", I would like to assure everybody that I am not lost. It is arrogant for a stranger to make this interpretation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
@CCleary in a post above had this quote attributed to @CWBuff:

I think people are starving for Spiritual Faith. Look, they could be anywhere, hiking any other trail(s) and yet they chose to go on the Camino. They are lost, perhaps not even realizing it.
She then replied:

Assuming I am one of "them", I would like to assure everybody that I am not lost. It is arrogant for a stranger to make this interpretation.
Please note that the quote that the forum software attributed to @CWBuff was actually a quote he gave from a non-forum member.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Not sure how to interpret the thumps up so I will add that I restricted my comments to my interpretation of the motives and reactions of the two figures in the two film productions, one a movie and the other one a documentary, and that I will not extrapolate from there to the motives and reactions of the 300,000+ people who walk the caminos annually, something that the pastor did whom you quoted.
 
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CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
@Kathar1na
and that's exactly the way I saw it and 'thumbed' it
we ARE after all taking about the movie :)
everything else is just 'side comments' (coming from me included)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Thanks, David. You've perfectly articulated one of the things that bothers me about the film. They probably couldn't have done otherwise, because tension and drama are required - that's what manipulates our emotions. And two hours of relative harmony, blisters, aches, and bodily odors would never have made much of a plot.
(They lost me to eye-rolling at the pack into the river scene...I mean...really?)
Hi VN,
Re the backpack and things falling into the river......well there are still a few "stupidos" around!!!
Our first CF, we stopped at a bridge similar to the one in the film.
I put my first aid kit....the full whack...tape, scissors etc with a bottle of betadine on the wall ...turned around and pushed it off....into the river it went and watched as it hit the water ... in slow motion
Couldn't believe it!
Just as well I hadn't put the backpack on the wall...
But then I wouldn't be that stupid.......would I?
Would I? ...of course not
Every time we watch "The Way" it reminds me of the river bridge
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
To me what Martin Sheen says at 5:20 is the key to his portrayal of Tom in the movie.
@gerip, thanks for posting this link. I have just watched it. I did see the film, years ago. It reminded me of another film, Into the West. The connection was the celluloid representation of a reality... which I thought was plastic, a bit twee, romanticised, whatever. I now will have a look online to see if the film is available to view. When I have time! this time round, I will try to be critical, not biased. I liked how Martin came across.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC (by train) 77; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta 19.
Our first CF, we stopped at a bridge similar to the one in the film.
I put my first aid kit....the full whack...tape, scissors etc with a bottle of betadine on the wall ...turned around and pushed it off....into the river it went and watched as it hit the water ... in slow motion
You cross a small bridge as you approach Eunate from Muruzabal - and there back in 2012 I managed somehow to drop my bag into the Rio Robo! But thanks to all the ziplock bags I'd used to pack/package things, nothing important was damaged.
 

Attachments

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Dropping a backpack off a bridge is child's play compared to some of the klutzy things I have done in my life.
There's a reason why I never buy expensive cell phones or other devices, or expensive sunglasses, lol.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Sorry all, I’m gonna rant! I have been reading this topic for a while now and held back from answering. But I am annoyed, so here goes.

Disparage The Way? Disparage? I was insulted by the film. The first time I saw it I turned it off and went down the pub raging.

I first moved into a house when my Dad died when I was four years old. My Dad was a Roma (Romani, Gypsy, Gippo, Gitano or whatever you want). My mum wasn’t a Roma, she was a 16 year old Welsh village girl when they were married. I take after my Dad. I don’t like living indoors even though I am now 54.

I can see it now when they were writing the script. Bag gets stolen. Well, Gitano of course. What an insult, it just adds to the stereotype of what is a myth about my race. Why could he not get his bag stolen by a local youth?

Yes, he gets his bag back, the Gitano Dad brings it back, and they all party. I see that. But the fact it was a young Gitano that stole the bag does reinforce that Gitano = thief.

Now, I have actually managed to watch this film a few times since. Its not bad Camino wise. It has inaccuracies, no pain, blisters, rain or steep hills. It is out of sequence. I don’t think this detracts from the film at all.

The Gitano scenes boils my blood. Just like if it was set in the USA it would have been a black youth. Or set in the UK it would have been a working class youth off an impoverished council estate wearing a hoody. There is no excuse for this in the plot.

And I have heard from pilgrims, while walking the Camino, more than a few nasty comments about us Roma, as in we might steal your possessions. Because of this film. I never mentioned they were sleeping in an albergue with one of ‘THEM’.

Do you know, on the Camino Frances, there are two very poor housing areas you walk through that are mostly Gitano? I bet you don’t know where they are, and you wont because they are as friendly as everywhere else you will walk.

It was either a mistake to include the theft scene as a theft by a Gitano, or it was deliberate and that is what they, the makers of this film, actually think about me, my family and my Roma brothers and sisters around the world.

Bottom line. A film that encourages people to walk the Camino is good. One that teaches you to fear a certain race is bad.

And you lot here, and everyone else on this wonderful planet are my brothers and sisters too. I love you all and respect you. I love our differences that make us special and unique. But a film that makes me and my race out to be thieves (as it is amongst the idiots and racists of the world) can be more than disparaged.

Thank you for your time, sorry for the rant.

Much love
Davy
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Sorry all, I’m gonna rant! I have been reading this topic for a while now and held back from answering. But I am annoyed, so here goes.

Disparage The Way? Disparage? I was insulted by the film. The first time I saw it I turned it off and went down the pub raging.

I first moved into a house when my Dad died when I was four years old. My Dad was a Roma (Romani, Gypsy, Gippo, Gitano or whatever you want). My mum wasn’t a Roma, she was a 16 year old Welsh village girl when they were married. I take after my Dad. I don’t like living indoors even though I am now 54.

I can see it now when they were writing the script. Bag gets stolen. Well, Gitano of course. What an insult, it just adds to the stereotype of what is a myth about my race. Why could he not get his bag stolen by a local youth?

Yes, he gets his bag back, the Gitano Dad brings it back, and they all party. I see that. But the fact it was a young Gitano that stole the bag does reinforce that Gitano = thief.

Now, I have actually managed to watch this film a few times since. Its not bad Camino wise. It has inaccuracies, no pain, blisters, rain or steep hills. It is out of sequence. I don’t think this detracts from the film at all.

The Gitano scenes boils my blood. Just like if it was set in the USA it would have been a black youth. Or set in the UK it would have been a working class youth off an impoverished council estate wearing a hoody. There is no excuse for this in the plot.

And I have heard from pilgrims, while walking the Camino, more than a few nasty comments about us Roma, as in we might steal your possessions. Because of this film. I never mentioned they were sleeping in an albergue with one of ‘THEM’.

Do you know, on the Camino Frances, there are two very poor housing areas you walk through that are mostly Gitano? I bet you don’t know where they are, and you wont because they are as friendly as everywhere else you will walk.

It was either a mistake to include the theft scene as a theft by a Gitano, or it was deliberate and that is what they, the makers of this film, actually think about me, my family and my Roma brothers and sisters around the world.

And you lot here, and everyone else on this wonderful planet are my brothers and sisters too. I love you all and respect you. I love our differences that make us special and unique. But a film that makes me and my race out to be thieves (as it is amongst the idiots and racists of the world) can be disparaged.

Thank you for your time, sorry for the rant.

Much love
Davy
The movie, just like 99.99999% of all movies is full of stereotyping. Not just the gypsy thief bit. That's just what they do in movies (and television shows). I have seen stereotypes of my demographics/background etc in movies all my life. Not that big a deal for me. I don't get mad because I laugh or am entertained by other stereotypes on the screen. They put what people want to see in the script. People like stereotypes.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
The movie, just like 99.99999% of all movies is full of stereotyping. Not just the gypsy thief bit. That's just what they do in movies (and television shows). I have seen stereotypes of my demographics/background etc in movies all my life. Not that big a deal for me. I don't get mad because I laugh or am entertained by other stereotypes on the screen. They put what people want to see in the script. People like stereotypes.
I agree. But when the stereotype is about me I get a bit miffed. Especially when the stereotype is repeated to my face when walking the camino.

And if people like stereotypes of that kind that sais a lot about that person. Not one I would like to meet quite frankly.

But maybe it gets me more because I am not used to watching TV shows (or movies much), as I have never owned a TV!

Hope I didn't offend you
Best wishes
Davey
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
@Davey Boyd , I didn't mention that part, not wanting to stray into banned content land, but you're right. The stereotype is...well, I have many words, none of them printable.
@Tincatinker , thank you. I'm not sure I could be so wise. Your Gran's advice obviously went deep. 🙏💖
Not sure about tiraboleiros being Eastern Orthodox priests
Would it save money to use Catholic priests instead since there
Wait, see? One person posts mythical content that they heard - nonsense, basically - and people take it as fact. Thanks @ Bradypus for poking at it.
Reality check: the tiraboleiros are just regular lay Galician guys.

Edit...I stand corrected. It is possible to lose a backpack off a bridge. Who knew? 🤣
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Sorry all, I’m gonna rant! I have been reading this topic for a while now and held back from answering. But I am annoyed, so here goes.

Disparage The Way? Disparage? I was insulted by the film. The first time I saw it I turned it off and went down the pub raging.

I first moved into a house when my Dad died when I was four years old. My Dad was a Roma (Romani, Gypsy, Gippo, Gitano or whatever you want). My mum wasn’t a Roma, she was a 16 year old Welsh village girl when they were married. I take after my Dad. I don’t like living indoors even though I am now 54.

I can see it now when they were writing the script. Bag gets stolen. Well, Gitano of course. What an insult, it just adds to the stereotype of what is a myth about my race. Why could he not get his bag stolen by a local youth?

Yes, he gets his bag back, the Gitano Dad brings it back, and they all party. I see that. But the fact it was a young Gitano that stole the bag does reinforce that Gitano = thief.

Now, I have actually managed to watch this film a few times since. Its not bad Camino wise. It has inaccuracies, no pain, blisters, rain or steep hills. It is out of sequence. I don’t think this detracts from the film at all.

The Gitano scenes boils my blood. Just like if it was set in the USA it would have been a black youth. Or set in the UK it would have been a working class youth off an impoverished council estate wearing a hoody. There is no excuse for this in the plot.

And I have heard from pilgrims, while walking the Camino, more than a few nasty comments about us Roma, as in we might steal your possessions. Because of this film. I never mentioned they were sleeping in an albergue with one of ‘THEM’.

Do you know, on the Camino Frances, there are two very poor housing areas you walk through that are mostly Gitano? I bet you don’t know where they are, and you wont because they are as friendly as everywhere else you will walk.

It was either a mistake to include the theft scene as a theft by a Gitano, or it was deliberate and that is what they, the makers of this film, actually think about me, my family and my Roma brothers and sisters around the world.

Bottom line. A film that encourages people to walk the Camino is good. One that teaches you to fear a certain race is bad.

And you lot here, and everyone else on this wonderful planet are my brothers and sisters too. I love you all and respect you. I love our differences that make us special and unique. But a film that makes me and my race out to be thieves (as it is amongst the idiots and racists of the world) can be more than disparaged.

Thank you for your time, sorry for the rant.

Much love
Davy
Agreed. There were a few scenes that were quite forced & phoney, (like the ones in the beginning with the police captain), but the whole Gitano segment was cringeworthy, and not only for the stereotyping. To be honest, Americans know very little about the Gitano in Europe, EE was probably depending on what was told to him by others. No human endeavour can ever be perfect.
 

malingerer

Active Member
Sorry all, I’m gonna rant! I have been reading this topic for a while now and held back from answering. But I am annoyed, so here goes.

Disparage The Way? Disparage? I was insulted by the film. The first time I saw it I turned it off and went down the pub raging.

I first moved into a house when my Dad died when I was four years old. My Dad was a Roma (Romani, Gypsy, Gippo, Gitano or whatever you want). My mum wasn’t a Roma, she was a 16 year old Welsh village girl when they were married. I take after my Dad. I don’t like living indoors even though I am now 54.

I can see it now when they were writing the script. Bag gets stolen. Well, Gitano of course. What an insult, it just adds to the stereotype of what is a myth about my race. Why could he not get his bag stolen by a local youth?

Yes, he gets his bag back, the Gitano Dad brings it back, and they all party. I see that. But the fact it was a young Gitano that stole the bag does reinforce that Gitano = thief.

Now, I have actually managed to watch this film a few times since. Its not bad Camino wise. It has inaccuracies, no pain, blisters, rain or steep hills. It is out of sequence. I don’t think this detracts from the film at all.

The Gitano scenes boils my blood. Just like if it was set in the USA it would have been a black youth. Or set in the UK it would have been a working class youth off an impoverished council estate wearing a hoody. There is no excuse for this in the plot.

And I have heard from pilgrims, while walking the Camino, more than a few nasty comments about us Roma, as in we might steal your possessions. Because of this film. I never mentioned they were sleeping in an albergue with one of ‘THEM’.

Do you know, on the Camino Frances, there are two very poor housing areas you walk through that are mostly Gitano? I bet you don’t know where they are, and you wont because they are as friendly as everywhere else you will walk.

It was either a mistake to include the theft scene as a theft by a Gitano, or it was deliberate and that is what they, the makers of this film, actually think about me, my family and my Roma brothers and sisters around the world.

Bottom line. A film that encourages people to walk the Camino is good. One that teaches you to fear a certain race is bad.

And you lot here, and everyone else on this wonderful planet are my brothers and sisters too. I love you all and respect you. I love our differences that make us special and unique. But a film that makes me and my race out to be thieves (as it is amongst the idiots and racists of the world) can be more than disparaged.

Thank you for your time, sorry for the rant.

Much love
Davy
I am Irish and my family name is Jack. Guess how I feel about that idiot on the Way? Cant be helped tho. Poor actor has to make a living even tho he himself is Celt!

Kushti bok! I hope spelling is correct. I remember it from when I was a social worker with the travelling people!

Whatever,

walk soft

stay safe

and as ever Vaya con Dios

The Malingerer
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
I am Irish and my family name is Jack. Guess how I feel about that idiot on the Way? Cant be helped tho. Poor actor has to make a living even tho he himself is Celt!

Kushti bok! I hope spelling is correct. I remember it from when I was a social worker with the travelling people!

Whatever,

walk soft

stay safe

and as ever Vaya con Dios

The Malingerer
Then there was the Dutchman who just happened to be a stoner! o_O
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
It seems that you don't know how it came about that the scenes with the gitanos from Burgos are in the movie and what the intention of this narrative is ... I learnt about it much later.

Without knowing anything about the background for these scenes I, too, found these scenes weird and out of place. Not primarily because of the boy stealing the backpack but because of what many of the following scenes were so obviously trying to teach the viewer.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
It seems that you don't know how it came about that the scenes with the gitanos from Burgos are in the movie and what the intention of this narrative is ... I learnt about it much later.

Without knowing anything about the background for these scenes I, too, found these scenes weird and out of place. Not primarily because of the boy stealing the backpack but because of what many of the following scenes were so obviously trying to teach the viewer.
No idea, please do tell! I would be interested why it was included.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I am Irish and my family name is Jack. Guess how I feel about that idiot on the Way? Cant be helped tho. Poor actor has to make a living even tho he himself is Celt!

Kushti bok! I hope spelling is correct. I remember it from when I was a social worker with the travelling people!

Whatever,

walk soft

stay safe

and as ever Vaya con Dios

The Malingerer
Me too....Irish I mean
And I just cringe when I see that guy prancing about in the field sprouting every kind of rubbish!

Loved the Dutchman though...and the smoker....at least they were honest!
For me ...losing a few lbs on the Camino can't be a bad thing...we won't mention the smoking though!!
Annette
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012-2018 Frances, Norte, Salvador, Aragones, Portuguese, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakibspaad.
Then there was the Dutchman who just happened to be a stoner
Yep, and his name was Jos. I had not seen the movie before starting my first Camino, and was a bit surprised when others (only Americans actually) - when founding out I was Dutch - started referring to this Jos figure and asking me whether I brought any hashish with me. It did not really bother me, but it was a bit tiring, as it such a worn out stereotype. But well, it is okay to be at the receiving end of such a rather harmless stereotype, but the gypsy stereotyping is far less harmless - so I understand your rant.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I agree. But when the stereotype is about me I get a bit miffed. Especially when the stereotype is repeated to my face when walking the camino.

And if people like stereotypes of that kind that sais a lot about that person. Not one I would like to meet quite frankly.

But maybe it gets me more because I am not used to watching TV shows (or movies much), as I have never owned a TV!

Hope I didn't offend you
Best wishes
Davey
You probably meet them everyday, lol.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Yep, and his name was Jos. I had not seen the movie before starting my first Camino, and was a bit surprised when others (only Americans actually) - when founding out I was Dutch - started referring to this Jos figure and asking me whether I brought any hashish with me. It did not really bother me, but it was a bit tiring, as it such a worn out stereotype. But well, it is okay to be at the receiving end of such a rather harmless stereotype, but the gypsy stereotyping is far less harmless - so I understand your rant.
Yep, a very tired and not funny stereotype. Something that some people don't understand is that these 'harmless' stereotypes included in this 'movie' actually impact our lives, and our pilgrimage as we walk. It is not a big deal to me either, but it is annoying and something I would rather not have to deal with in the first place.

On another note, in one bar on my last Camino I asked for a beer. They hearing my English accent demanded to see my Visa. Brexit joke! Now that made me giggle! :)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
No idea, please do tell! I would be interested why it was included.
They've talked about this repeatedly in interviews and in their book. You described vividly how you perceived these scenes and I was a little taken aback to learn that what apparently some (many?) people are taking away from it is: "There are gypsies in Burgos and they steal. Be careful", whether in earnest or as a joke, thereby perpetually keeping these stereotypes alive and reenforcing them.

I myself perceived these scenes as stilted and artificial and as an attempt at lecturing the viewer that the Roma [I'm from Europe and have accepted not to use the term gypsies but, depending on the country, either Roma and Sinti or just Roma. I guess Gitanos is ok for Spain?] are not thieves but noble people with a great honour code who will become your friends and would harshly punish their children if they steal etc. etc. My memory may fail me but I think these are the only scenes where there is more than a fleeting contact with local people living along the road, something I also perceive as odd.

When I googled for it right now, one article came up that said: It is refreshing for a film to portray gypsies in a positive light. In this same article, Estevez says: "We wanted to make an attempt to lift [the gypsies] up [within the film]. They have been prosecuted across Europe for hundreds of years. While we were scouting locations, our Spanish crew said [in regards to the locations] that gypsies would never live there. I said ‘In this movie, they do.’ Or [the crew] would say gypsies would never do that, and they would never wear those clothes but in this movie, they will. I thought this was an opportunity to not play stereotypes, and to go in another direction. It’s really easy to grab the low hanging, cynical and pessimistic fruit. But when you climb a little higher, the fruit is a lot sweeter and the view is a lot better. That’s what we endeavored to do, every step of this journey.”

I'll post a quote from their book in another post.
 
Last edited:

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
I’m biased. I loved it despite it’s faults.
And it really annoys me when people dismiss it with the throw-away line “Hollywood Movie” with every derogatory implication that goes with it. Just today I read that the modern popularity of the Camino derives from "Coelho, MacLain, Hollywood". I take the point, but did you mean "Coelho, MacLain, Estevez"?

Credit where credit is due folks. It was a labour of love by the Estevez family, INDEPENDENTLY financed, and intended as a homage to their own family heritage. Estevez himself describes it as a film inspired by a grandson, made by a son, starring a father, honouring a Galician grandfather, or words to that effect.

The making of that film owed nothing to Hollywood. Give it a break.
Any film that can have this big gruff soldier veteran soldier crying 😢 every time has something special in it. I challenge you to watch it with your eyes closed your ears open and your soul in tune of your memories and come back with same answer💕
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Parts of the book that Sheen and Estevez wrote, following the movie "The Way" can be read online. In it, Emilio Estevez says this about the scenes in Burgos that start with Tom Avery's backpack being stolen:

This time, I liked the idea right away [Martin Sheen had suggested that "a gypsy boy steals Tom's bag"]. The theft allows him to discover that the items in his backpack have no real value to him, while Daniel's ashes do. Also we have a change here to address the public image of gypsies. The gypsy minority is discriminated against all over Europe, and Burgos is no exception But Julia's mother Milagros has a close friend, María José Lastra, who lives in Burgos, has taught many gypsy students and has observed how close-knit and joyous their families are. My father's idea for this sequence would let us play both into and against political stereotypes of gypsies, which appeals to us both. Burgos is a special place for our family. It was here that Taylor [Estevez's son], traveling with my father in 2003, met Julia [they got married soon after].

Whatever one thinks about all this, they must have had more knowledge about the situation in Burgos than most of the viewers of their movie.
 

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
Sounds good. Do the maps only versions list the lodging and cafe options too?
Same here someone ( probably a Gypsy tongue in cheek) stole my book on the second day aafter arriving at Ronsavalle Whilst waiting in queue and went the rest of “The Way” with only the maps book and a compass on the top of one of my walking poles.
 
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