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Disparaging "The Way"

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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
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.
It is a privilege not to have to worry about stereotyping. There are countries where it can literally get you killed, where young black boys playing with toy guns are shot dead by the police, for example, because of stereotypes that black boys are dangerous. Given the marginalized status of the Roma in Europe, I don't think it is unreasonable or unwise to worry about the effects of this stereotyping on them and the treatment they face.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Given the marginalized status of the Roma in Europe
Isn‘t that an oversimplification? I know actually very little about this but from what I read the current situation isn’t uniform at all across Europe, there are huge differences between countries. This thread made me Google the name of the person from Burgos mentioned earlier in this thread and I learnt about a part of the town of Burgos called “El Encuentro” where 40 families live. That shocked me a bit, I didn’t expect to see this in Spain and certainly not in a town like Burgos. I don’t think it is typical, though.

This thread has also made me wonder what these scenes in the movie have actually achieved ...
 
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Blintintin

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
I was fortunate to see it premiere in 2010 at the Toronto International Film Festival with both Martin Sheen and Emilio Esteves in attendance to address the audience. Martin Sheen was late arriving to the theatre because he was picketing with Toronto's striking Hotel Workers union members outside his Toronto hotel. The activist in him made him walk in solidarity with them. It was a funny start to the premiere. So Emilio introduced the film alone joined by him afterwards for audience questions, sharing several interesting points....(1) they had wanted to make a film together for years but struggled to find an idea / story that interested them, that was authentic to who they are, and could be made into a successful feature film. he had wanted to incorporate his Spanish heritage in it somehow (2) Martin had been reconnecting with family on his mother's side in Ireland and had been trying to plan a Camino with many of his family members.. there was interest and at one point he had plans with some of them for a 'short ' camino but in the end planning was too difficult particularly with his working schedule
(3) he did not walk the camino ...for the film he did just enough to capture scenes for filming but was brought to & from the set /location.
(4) he wanted it be / appear as authentic as possible and would pack and carry his knapsack full with real gear so it was heavy...but the producers were worried given his past health issues / heart attack in 70s...so they would empty his pack unbeknownst to him.

they were really excited to share the film with audiences, it was very special project for them ..and they were very humble yet complimentary with each other..praising their respective work as actor and director.

whether it deserves critical acclaim or not..this made it very enjoyable to see.

pictures of him picketing here...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
So I read a bit more about Spain ... I am aware of the fact that there is a forum policy to disapprove and suppress discussion of ethnicity so I'm not sure whether I'm still on solid ground here. Anyway, apparently Spain doesn't have a nomadic Gitano population. The majority lives in housing just like anyone else; in fact, many have become 'invisible', as more than one article put it.

This is one thing that seems odd about the movie and that struck me already as odd when I watched it the first time: the three pilgrims, while chasing after the boy, enter a courtyard that to me looks as Spanish as they come and both the Dutch and the Irish pilgrim claim immediately that "gypsies live here". Huh??? Whatever Emilio Estevez wants to narrate here ... that looks like a major fail to me.

My only contact, if one wants to call it that, with the national Roma population (in contrast to recent migrants from the Balkan states) during the long walk to Santiago, and that I am aware of, was in France where there are still "gens du voyage" / "travellers". It was somewhere in the countryside in the South West, in the middle of fields, where I walked past a large plot of land that had been divided into small rectangular patches, each of them equipped with water and electricity connections. It was empty but there was a road sign pointing to it and saying "gens du voyage" so I knew what it was. I had never come across something like this before. More in Wikipedia.
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I am baffled by the popularity of many Hollywood hit movies. But in recent years, there have been some quite wonderful movies widely released (not sure if they would be called Hollywood or not). For example "Peanut Butter Falcon" which, if you haven't seen it... watch for it! The best movie I've seen in over a year.

Re. The Way, I was annoyed by parts of it and noticed the geographic mix-ups. But what I thought the film captured well was the way a group of people from such different backgrounds, with such different personalities and unique emotional baggage, etc can end up as a like a family. Unlikely friendships that wouldn't have had a chance back at home, but grew into a bond that learns to accept different values and idiosyncrasies in its members. Unlike most Hollywood movies, nobody fell in love or ended up in bed, and that rang true for me... I mean I'm sure it happens, but walkers learn to love others in non-romantic ways.

I had heard from a Korean pilgrim about a Korean woman who wrote a book or led walks in Korea and was responsible for the large number of Koreans heading to the Camino. I'd be curious to see the Korean documentary that inspired Korean people to walk the Camino.
 

JamesGeier

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2016
CF Autumn 2017
VdlP Spring 2021
I was bothered by the Burgos scenes in The Way. I could not imagine anyone stealing a pilgrim's backpack (but I also would not have left it outside the bar). My interpretation of that series was that they needed a vehicle for Tom to hit a very low point, questioning his being there, from which he could rise and understand what was really important about his pilgrimage. Based on the quotes from Emilio, I was not too far off... (so I am a bit self-congratulatory in this post...).

On my first pilgrimage on the Camino Frances, I too, hit a very low point when, after being sick for almost three days ended up in the hospital in Palencia (40 km from the Camino, south of Carrion de los Condes). I was in a very dark place mentally, assuming that I had failed, my body had given out, and I just wanted to get well and get home. I asked the admitting doctor if there was an airport nearby so I could start planning my journey home. She gave me a surprised look and asked, "Aren't you walking the Camino de Santiago?" to which I said, "Yes, I was, but I am too ill to continue." She then looked at her clipboard and said, "All of these test results tell me you are very healthy. You have two problems and we can take care of them." Then she looked me directly in the eye and said, "Your Camino is important. When you walk into the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, you will understand. And we are going to get you well so you can continue." Then she paused, again looked me directly in the eye and repeated, "Your Camino is important." Oh my, at first I thought no way, but as the day continued, the IV re-hydrated me, and the antibiotic took effect, I started to believe it was possible. The next day I was released, and I started walking again the day after. Then fifteen days later, walking into the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela was magical!

Buen Camino!
--jim--
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I am baffled by the popularity of many Hollywood hit movies. But in recent years, there have been some quite wonderful movies widely released (not sure if they would be called Hollywood or not). For example "Peanut Butter Falcon" which, if you haven't seen it... watch for it! The best movie I've seen in over a year.

Re. The Way, I was annoyed by parts of it and noticed the geographic mix-ups. But what I thought the film captured well was the way a group of people from such different backgrounds, with such different personalities and unique emotional baggage, etc can end up as a like a family. Unlikely friendships that wouldn't have had a chance back at home, but grew into a bond that learns to accept different values and idiosyncrasies in its members. Unlike most Hollywood movies, nobody fell in love or ended up in bed, and that rang true for me... I mean I'm sure it happens, but walkers learn to love others in non-romantic ways.

I had heard from a Korean pilgrim about a Korean woman who wrote a book or led walks in Korea and was responsible for the large number of Koreans heading to the Camino. I'd be curious to see the Korean documentary that inspired Korean people to walk the Camino.
So would I. I asked a bit to Korean pilgrims I have met, but I was never able to get an exact answer. More on my part I suppose.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
It is a privilege not to have to worry about stereotyping. There are countries where it can literally get you killed, where young black boys playing with toy guns are shot dead by the police, for example, because of stereotypes that black boys are dangerous. Given the marginalized status of the Roma in Europe, I don't think it is unreasonable or unwise to worry about the effects of this stereotyping on them and the treatment they face.
LOL...I am hardly privileged, but of course all of us who have enough idle time to mindlessly chat away on some internet forum are certainly privileged to some degree.
I suppose your comment there about the police is a stereotype in of itself, right? You made the comment based on hearsay of others (television, media, movies etc). Not on actual experience.
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
LOL...I am hardly privileged, but of course all of us who have enough idle time to mindlessly chat away on some internet forum are certainly privileged to some degree.
I suppose your comment there about the police is a stereotype in of itself, right? You made the comment based on hearsay of others (television, media, movies etc). Not on actual experience.
Racism and the higher likelihood of African Americans being targeted by the police (not All police, but enough to be a problem) is not "hearsay". I will not debate this on this forum, but i just felt i needed to say this.
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés(2008,09 14)
Del Norte (2011)
Portuguese(2015,2017)
Inglés 2015
Fisterre (2015 17)
A point well-made Roland. Most posters from English-speaking countries are not even aware of Kerkerling's book. Nor of Korean documentaries mentioned in another thread that have motivated plenty of Korean pilgrims.
This isn’t going to be well accepted I suspect. American cultural influence over the rest of the western world is riddled with the American point of view. Viewpoints such as the Korean, Euro or South American are not considered then rejected. They are generally unknown. They are like a foreign language even when translated.
Coelho’s book is not about the Camino as it exists physically. It is riddled with his personal spirituality and experience. It is difficult to read after you have completed a Camino because of the allegory. Having his cultural background would no doubt be helpful.
I suspect the Kerkerling book would be easier to read if the shared cultural experience was present. I have tried to get through it several times but find myself uninvolved with the stories. Perhaps a translation issue or a lack of understanding of German humour on my part.
I am Canadian and I grew up in a border-town. My mother was American. I have been heavily influenced by American culture. I think The Way is about that particular subject and how the main character’s realization that there is more than one viewing point of the world.
IMHO
Cheers
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Erm ... maybe I didn't pay enough attention but I didn't notice an African American, boy or otherwise, in The Way. I just had a look again at it on YouTube (I'm not "watching" the movie so I justify this as an ok thing to do 🤭 ).

Now, in my opinion, this is stereotyping, too, and one reason why I found these scenes somewhat odd:

Tom: Then we have to file a police report.​
Dutch guy (fearful voice): No, cops hate gypsies, they don't want to have anything to do with it. Not in Amsterdam, not anywhere in Europe.​

I don't even know where to begin but this just does not sound right to me. Not for 2019 and not even for 2010 when the movie came out.

Incidentally, the results of a new Eurobarometer were published today. Eurobarometer are EU wide surveys, done at regularly intervals and about various topics. This time it's about perceptions of discrimination, not about actual discriminatory practices or facts. Interesting reading, considerable differences between countries, detailed reports per EU country and for the EU as a whole. The title of the Special Eurobarometer 493 is Discrimination in the EU (including LGBTI)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I suspect the Kerkerling book would be easier to read if the shared cultural experience was present. I have tried to get through it several times but find myself uninvolved with the stories. Perhaps a translation issue or a lack of understanding of German humour on my part.
It's the subtleties of the language and the associations you get when you are familiar with the words and the culture. I can give you an example from another popular book, Immortelle randonnée, Compostelle malgré moi. Both English and French are foreign languages for me. There is a passage in the book where the author describes a hierarchy of pilgrims. It has me in stitches each time I read it in French. The English translation doesn't even make me smile. It's not the fault of the translator, and my sense of humour is the same. And it's not about puns, either.
 
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Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés(2008,09 14)
Del Norte (2011)
Portuguese(2015,2017)
Inglés 2015
Fisterre (2015 17)
I have a similar experience. I read a book called Cathedral of the Sea. It was a translation into English from the original Spanish. It was set in Catalonia. Ildefonso Falcones.
I recently watched a Spanish production of the same title from Netflix. Original in Spanish overdubbed in English.
The main plot line was similar but a lot of history and culture was dropped for dramatic effect.
I recommend the book 😄
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Racism and the higher likelihood of African Americans being targeted by the police (not All police, but enough to be a problem) is not "hearsay". I will not debate this on this forum, but i just felt i needed to say this.
He did not say or mention the United States in his comment. He made no mention of any country. I would say your assumption it is the United States is an example of stereotyping. Without a doubt.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Now, in my opinion, this is stereotyping, too, and one reason why I found these scenes somewhat odd:

Tom: Then we have to file a police report.​
Dutch guy (fearful voice): No, cops hate gypsies, they don't want to have anything to do with it. Not in Amsterdam, not anywhere in Europe.​

I don't even know where to begin but this just does not sound right to me. Not for 2019 and not even for 2010 when the movie came out.
You are absolutely right about this negative stereotyping Kathharina, but in fact the film deliberately goes on to overturn this negative view by presenting the Gitano community in a very positive light.
It is interesting that Tom takes the advice of the Gitano father - (a very sensitive character portrayal in my view) - to heart, and resolves to go on to Muxia.

From comments in interviews on the net, I understand that the party scene was organised by gypsy friends of Sheen’s Spanish daughter-in-law.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
LOL...I am hardly privileged, but of course all of us who have enough idle time to mindlessly chat away on some internet forum are certainly privileged to some degree.
I suppose your comment there about the police is a stereotype in of itself, right? You made the comment based on hearsay of others (television, media, movies etc). Not on actual experience.
It was based on news stories reported in a number of reputable sources. Not on my actual experience of being a black child shot dead, obviously. They are not in a position to tell their own stories but that doesn't diminish the reality of those stories. I was thinking of Tamir Rice, but Tyre King is another example and there are more. If you want to call New York Times articles "hearsay" go ahead. But the point of journalism is that we don't have to be omnipresent ourselves to learn what is happening in the world.

Obviously not all police do this, but it was less of a stereotype and more of a comment that people in marginalized communities who are stereotyped often are at risk from the very people who are there to protect the community and that not to have to worry about the effects of stereotyping is, indeed, a privilege.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
While I was looking for an article with relevant information, another article popped up that caught my attention.
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 ... ☺.
Thanks for having posted this Katharine. I finally got around to reading it, (in rather atrocious google translate), and as predicted I DID enjoy it. It was interesting to me that Martin Sheen's fame - at least to the writer and possibly to Spaniards in general - derives from the movie "Badlands" made almost 50 years ago, and which I have mentioned in a previous post.
The Xunta's investment obviously paid off, and must be a positive from their point of view.
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Racism and the higher likelihood of African Americans being targeted by the police (not All police, but enough to be a problem) is not "hearsay". I will not debate this on this forum, but i just felt i needed to say this.
I was responding to what i thought was a general comment about privilege, race and the police. I gave an example from my country (although i have seen unfortunate examples of police brutality against minority people in other parts of the world, too.) Im sorry it came across as ethnocentric.
 

Matthew Merten

What yellow arrow?
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
Frances (2021)
That would have been me, Paul, and I'm sorry if what I said caused you to be annoyed.
I stand with my opinion, though. Family labor of love notwithstanding, the plot, the overly dramatized events, and the scrambled geography are pure cheesy Hollywood, nothing to do with anyone's heritage or with the camino as it really is. So you're more than welcome to give it a break, but my opinion is different.
There is an Interesting foundation lodged in your opinion. It reminds me of how I had to overcome some black-and-white thinking while on my first pilgrimage on the Camino. Is it walking only? Does a person have to carry at least 10% of their weight the entire time? Should the newbie hordes stomping and chattering from Saria actually consider themselves a Pilgrim? Or, should an influential movie be insulted because it didn’t precisely portray the unportrayable? My experiences, although profound to me, can never be fully understood by anyone else, even by another pilgrim.

Yes, my pilgrimage brought me face to face with Some of my prejudices and I was humbled into a broader acceptance realm. If the Esteves movie convinces an ethnocentric USA American to cross the ocean and wade ankle deep into another culture or two, then that film has made the world a better place, no?
 
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Djimbo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Leon to Santiago in Sept.- Oct. (2016)
...solo, and again in 2019 with my wife.
I believe that the film is not about the Camino de Santiago... rather, it is a story of the transformation of the Martin Shean character, and the Camino is the vehicle for that change...as it is for most of us (in varying degrees) who have walked the way.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I believe that the film is not about the Camino de Santiago... rather, it is a story of the transformation of the Martin Shean character, and the Camino is the vehicle for that change...as it is for most of us (in varying degrees) who have walked the way.
I think you've nailed it in one sentence, Djimbo.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2018)
The Camino called to me before I had ever heard of The Way. During my year of planning, obsessing, and training for it, I discovered the movie, watched it, and was very relieved to find that it was NOT particularly "hollywood". As for the dramatic nature of it, who among us has not felt the dramatic nature of the relationships made on the Camino, or its emotional upheavals -- insights, revelation at unexpected moments?
 

ginniek

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
frances 2017
Just a few semi-related thoughts:

1. I have been a fan of the Estevez family as ensemble actors since Wall Street (1987). That was Martin and Charlie (Sheen).
2. My motivation to walk came from Dr. Victoria Sweet's book God's Hotel, especially when I learned that you could do it a section at a time over several years. She is a physician who also has a Ph.D. in medieval (medical) history. Her book also motivated me to do something similar in a different aspect of European history.
3. Recently I was at a meeting related to my actual job (transportation planning), and somehow we got into a discussion of the Camino, and I emailed links for The Way to people who hadn't seen it but had recently somehow felt the call to go.
 

ginniek

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
frances 2017
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 ... ☺.
But I have read an interview with Martin stating that he did have to mortgage his home as security for one of the loans.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Yes I do think that it would have been just as successful with an equally talented nobody. Tcheky Karyo - who played the role of Captain Henri - was a noted actor in France, but a nobody to audiences outside mainland Europe, yet in his brief appearance he managed to convey a deep humanity for a bereaved person that set the tone for what followed. Yorick van Wageningen was unknown to me - not so to Scandinavian audiences perhaps but imbued his role of empathetic clown with a degree of dignity. In the end, despite its weaknesses, especially that section of the script given to Deborah Kara Unger, it is a good story told simply, filmed in a beautiful setting and documenting a unique experience. That it begins with a bereavement surely is the hook, because that is a universal experience. The emotional grab from that is that this is a loss where mortality prevented a reconciliation in a fractured relationship - it is unfinished business and how many of us have walked the Camino because there was 'unfinished business' particularly in relation to loss. It has often been said that a text - be it book, film or piece of music is never complete until it has been read, watched or listened to. As others have said, it is what people bring to the watching of 'The Way' that makes it work. No stars or celebrities needed just an audience. :)
Sorry SEB2, I missed your post at the time. (It prompted me to look up the filmography of Tcheky Karyo, who was vaguely familiar to me, and found that he played a major role in that lovely film "Belle and Sebastian".)
The casting of "The Way" was certainly crucial to its emotional impact.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
Somehow I missed this thread but found the critical comments funny. This particular movie was my “motivation” to walk a Camino. Not that it was an Epiphany. I didn’t know about the Caminos (I was a young 62). I’ve now done about 1000 miles of Caminos (still a young 70) and hope to do more. As to critics of the movie, both the Camino and the movie have a common thread in that they allow you to enter a different reality for awhile. This reality is colored by your present and past and will affect your future. Like all different realities, it isn’t perfect nor is it intended to be. It’s just another aspect in each of our many faceted, flawed lives.
 
D

Deleted member 73892

Guest
Five people join together along the way. It happens, especially when you consider that approx. 350,000 + people are on Camino every year. The leaves 350,000 - 5 = 350,995 more stories to tell. This film was like a blink of the eye compared to all the variations of other stories that could have been created. Just because it didn't tell your story doesn't make it a bad film, but a film that gave some form of insight into the true Camino way, whoever you are. Enjoy.
LLN Keith
 

David61

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
Five people join together along the way. It happens, especially when you consider that approx. 350,000 + people are on Camino every year. The leaves 350,000 - 5 = 350,995 more stories to tell. This film was like a blink of the eye compared to all the variations of other stories that could have been created. Just because it didn't tell your story doesn't make it a bad film, but a film that gave some form of insight into the true Camino way, whoever you are. Enjoy.
LLN Keith
There were only four
 
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CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have a similar experience. I read a book called Cathedral of the Sea. It was a translation into English from the original Spanish. It was set in Catalonia. Ildefonso Falcones.
I recently watched a Spanish production of the same title from Netflix. Original in Spanish overdubbed in English.
The main plot line was similar but a lot of history and culture was dropped for dramatic effect.
I recommend the book 😄
Loved it...and it compelled me to go and seek out the Cathedral while in Barcelona last month
Here are couple of shots. The third one is a view of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia from Sta.Maria del Mar's Roof (we got lucky as the tour was just about to begin when we walked in)
20191116_095610.JPG 20191116_100452.JPG 20191116_102605.JPG
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Here are couple of shots. The third one is a view of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia from Sta.Maria del Mar's Roof (we got lucky as the tour was just about to begin when we walked in)
Did the tour guide mention anything about the pirates buried there?
Screenshot_20191227-141051.png
;)
I had two visits to the church this October and then touched its door (along with ones of a few other churches) on day one of my camino. Definitely worth a visit.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Emilio's grandfather was from Galicia and that's important to him. His son married a Spanish girl and they live in a town along the Camino. I can't remember which town, but one of my walking buddies missed out on a bed at the albergue, so the hospitalero sent him to stay with the Estevez family. Even after the film was made, Hollywood didn't want it. As I said before, I thought it was a fun movie. What is meaningful about the Camino is different for everyone.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
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No pirates were buried on the roof, Rick
😄
And I wholeheartedly agree that its worth a visit!
 
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I know that it is popular on the forum to disparage The Way, but many of us had never heard of the Camino di Santiago until we saw it. It piqued my interest enough to do some actual research on this and other pilgrimages and determine that it truly was something I wanted to do. The Way is a movie, not a documentary. Like many movies it simplifies and generalizes to make the venue fit the story. We can like it or not as a film. As pilgrims who have walked the Camino we may find that some things from the film resonate with us, or we may find that nothing from the film even remotely resembles our Camino. To me, it captured the feeling of community along the Camino quite well (also a few of the minor irritations).
 
D

Deleted member 67185

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This may have been covered in a post - - perhaps more than once - - but 'disparaging' something is not the same thing as providing a critique. Citing the inconsistencies, out-of-sequence locations, or the fact that The Way took liberties with where they shot various scenes, is not disparagement.

Stating that the The Way, ". . is a worthless film, not worth spending the time watching, because things aren't accurate.", IS a generalized disparagement.

Most discussions I have heard about the film have fallen into the former category, and very few in the latter.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I know that it is popular on the forum to disparage The Way, but many of us had never heard of the Camino di Santiago until we saw it. It piqued my interest enough to do some actual research on this and other pilgrimages and determine that it truly was something I wanted to do. The Way is a movie, not a documentary. Like many movies it simplifies and generalizes to make the venue fit the story. We can like it or not as a film. As pilgrims who have walked the Camino we may find that some things from the film resonate with us, or we may find that nothing from the film even remotely resembles our Camino. To me, it captured the feeling of community along the Camino quite well (also a few of the minor irritations).
Yes, I do not know why some on here do that. It smacks of elitism IMO.
A bit like inferring that their way of learning about the Camino is better than learning about it from a movie, or say nowadays a blog or youtube video.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Yes, I do not know why some on here do that. It smacks of elitism IMO.
A bit like inferring that their way of learning about the Camino is better than learning about it from a movie, or say nowadays a blog or youtube video.
Are you trying to imply that learning about the Camino through a 1989 copy of Let's Go: Spain, Portugal and Morocco is not the only proper way to discover the Camino?
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
Are you trying to imply that learning about the Camino through a 1989 copy of Let's Go: Spain, Portugal and Morocco is not the only proper way to discover the Camino?
Hey, that looks like a pretty good travel guide for its time.
Originally several years ago a relative told me about the Camino. I believe they said they had read about it in a travel guide. That lead me to do some research on my own via the internet which of course led me to guidebooks which sealed the deal, if you will. Then I found travel shows (some good, some suck) that had bits about it.
 
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VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
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Citing the inconsistencies, out-of-sequence locations, or the fact that The Way took liberties with where they shot various scenes, is not disparagement.
Stating that the The Way, ". . is a worthless film, not worth spending the time watching, because things aren't accurate.", IS a generalized disparagement.
Most discussions I have heard about the film have fallen into the former category, and very few in the latter.
A fair comment Dave.
But I don’t even accept that locations shot out of sequence is a valid criticism of a work of fiction.
I’m reminded of an occasion when I saw Nicolas Roeg’s adaptation of James Vance Marshall’s “Walkabout” in Northern Australia, back in 1971. The general audience consensus was that this film - still regarded as a masterpiece by many critics - was a load of rubbish because the 3 children could not possibly have walked the thousands of km from the (recognisable) Flinders Ranges locations of the early scenes - to the Northern Territory locations at the end.
 

TMcA

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
This movie has significant interest to those who read this forum and those who have walked the CF or other Camino routes. But movies are an art form, and, as such, are subject to criticism and comparison. IMHO, The Way is not even close to being a great movie. But I have seen it at least three times because it brings back, visually, my walk on the CF and also the wonderful interactions with others I met.

Its inconsistencies bother me slightly. And I have long ago come to realize that Hollywood, even the Estevez family, seem to need to hoke up whatever narrative they wind up putting on the screen.

Just my opinion.
 
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Deleted member 67185

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A fair comment Dave.
But I don’t even accept that locations shot out of sequence is a valid criticism of a work of fiction.

I understand what your saying, Paul.

To me, a criticism can be either a positive or a negative observation. Like noting the ingredients, the flavor or the texture of a food dish being eaten, criticisms can be subjective, or they can be truthful notations of fact.

A criticism noting that the sequences of locations occur in a non linear fashion in The Way, is a fair criticism because it is factual. . . various locations of the story DO take place out of sequence. BUT, we, as viewers, we are either not expected to know that fact. . . OR if we are knowledgeable about Camino Frances, we are asked by the movie maker to engage our suspension of disbelief. . . . which is a perfectly normal expectation of audience members when they are viewing works of fiction.

That is what I would guess Estevez may have thought about and knew would happen. As the director and one of the Producers of The Way, Estevez would seemingly know that any number of people watching his movie would have already walked Camino Frances, and would know about the out-of-sequence locations and about scenes being filmed elsewhere. Estevez never intended to 'fool' people that The Way was an actual, non-fictional documentary work.

Because of Estevez's intentions for the movie, the point where factual criticism (out-of-sequence locations) becomes unfair to the point of disparagement, is if one states that the movie is a bad movie because of the non-linear locations.

Anyway, that is how I think about it.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I have walked the Camino several times, and I have watched The Way a couple of times. Honestly I could care less that some of the locations were out of sequence, or that they wore blue jeans, shot scenes off the route etc etc etc...I noticed those things but can't say it played a role in whether or not I enjoyed the film, which I did. Very much.
 

Karl Oz

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Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Are you trying to imply that learning about the Camino through a 1989 copy of Let's Go: Spain, Portugal and Morocco is not the only proper way to discover the Camino?
I loved the Lets's Go guides... I looked-up my old Let's Go: Europe from the early 80's and it mentioned the camino!
 
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I was bothered by the Burgos scenes in The Way. I could not imagine anyone stealing a pilgrim's backpack (but I also would not have left it outside the bar). My interpretation of that series was that they needed a vehicle for Tom to hit a very low point, questioning his being there, from which he could rise and understand what was really important about his pilgrimage. Based on the quotes from Emilio, I was not too far off... (so I am a bit self-congratulatory in this post...).

On my first pilgrimage on the Camino Frances, I too, hit a very low point when, after being sick for almost three days ended up in the hospital in Palencia (40 km from the Camino, south of Carrion de los Condes). I was in a very dark place mentally, assuming that I had failed, my body had given out, and I just wanted to get well and get home. I asked the admitting doctor if there was an airport nearby so I could start planning my journey home. She gave me a surprised look and asked, "Aren't you walking the Camino de Santiago?" to which I said, "Yes, I was, but I am too ill to continue." She then looked at her clipboard and said, "All of these test results tell me you are very healthy. You have two problems and we can take care of them." Then she looked me directly in the eye and said, "Your Camino is important. When you walk into the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, you will understand. And we are going to get you well so you can continue." Then she paused, again looked me directly in the eye and repeated, "Your Camino is important." Oh my, at first I thought no way, but as the day continued, the IV re-hydrated me, and the antibiotic took effect, I started to believe it was possible. The next day I was released, and I started walking again the day after. Then fifteen days later, walking into the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela was magical!

Buen Camino!
--jim--
I love this post, Jim. Some resonance with my own first (but I hope, not last) Camino in 2018. Thank you for your thoughtful words.
 
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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola All; Viva The Way. Happy New Year.
OK that gets the smaltzy stuff out of the way.
I first saw the movie in 2012 not long after its release in Oz (that's Australia, the other Oz). When a DVD version became available I immediately had the Master Card out. Now 7 years on from those days I think I have watch the movie more than 10 times and as the "extra" special section (the Discussion) I think its now closer to 20 viewings.
Whilst respecting all opinions I can not agree it is in anyway a Hollywood production. David and a number of posts have corrected that error. As for its influence - well I suggest one views the increased numbers of American pilgrims, walking the Camino, between 2011 and 2015 and from interviews I have seen of some of these pilgrims a large percentage put it down to The Way. Cheers for now.
 

APilgrim3393

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(17-18-19) Norte (2018) Aragones (19’) de la Plata to Mérida (18’) Primitivo some (19’)
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.

Well-done. Educational and helpful.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
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This movie has significant interest to those who read this forum and those who have walked the CF or other Camino routes.
More accurately:
"This movie has significant interest to some who read this forum, but not all."

The movie is a movie. Some like it some don't.
That's all.

It's not a 'sacred cow' but neither is it evil incarnate.
Pax....
 
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Nick B

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
It's a movie that doesn't have extreme violence, sex scenes, disturbing content, continual bad language, moronic special effects, killing every five minutes, poor attempts at idiotic humour, big explosions, repeat of a movie made twenty years ago and an evil guy or a hero.

The Way is so not Hollywood, I saw Estevez say in an interview that he knows Hollywood made a lot of crap as he and his father were in a lot of the crap. He also said he was sick of movies being made killing people, that alone makes it a positive.

I haven't parted with my $15 for a Hollywood movie since Gladiator or was it Titanic(girlfiend dragged me along unfortunately) and won't be parting with money again for their crap anytime soon. They're out of ideas, all special effects, remakes, explosions, violence and killing people and their comedies just aren't funny.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
It's a movie that doesn't have extreme violence, sex scenes, disturbing content, continual bad language, moronic special effects, killing every five minutes, poor attempts at idiotic humour, big explosions, repeat of a movie made twenty years ago and an evil guy or a hero.
I like that first sentence: it reflects my own attitude, although to be fair, not all Hollywood movies are like that, simply just too many of them.
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
Would it make a difference for the people who had not been on that particular Way? Living in blissfull ignorance of the minutia of every turn and place I think it makes Zero difference. The Romanticism of the journey and compelling story to some is enough.
It is enough they got to vicariously experience something special and not knowing sequences is ok,they dont and may never experience the journey and deflection toward exacting details detracts from "intent" rather than documentry styles
Inshalla ,a nice word,If God Wills It...
I may never make it to Europe.but through a movie and veterans of the journeys stories i will have lived vicariously through your eyes and a movie

God was moved and said Be Still! Listen! and I will make the Way clear for you.

Maybe the movie was the the words spoken to the hearts and made reality the way they could...and did.
Those who have... experienced cannot fully explain the totality of the event...
Those who have not can only wonder and try to rationalise what it is
Those who can create a bridge between both worlds mearly are using their limited understanding to try and explain an intangible...tangible
Pax
 

Scott Sweeney

Active Member
Did Paulo Coelho even complete the Camino de Santiago? I believe the inspiration for Emilio Estevez even walking the Camino was from a book written by Jack Hilt.
The movie The Way has proven to be an inspirational movie to a lot of people much the way A River Runs Through It was. Now you cant find a peaceful stream bank to trout fish from. Now we walk the least traveled routes and other long walks and avoid the CF and Santiago.

As they say nothing ever remains the same.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
There is another older thread on the Forum regarding Coelho's incompletion of Camino:
The book by Jack Hitt (Off The Road) was widely used by Emilio in bits and pieces as part of the script. Jack Hitt is the prototype of character "Jack from Ireland" in the movie.

Perhaps CF is 'overcrowded' now becayse of the popularity of the movie. Perhaps I am one of the lemmings as my very first Camino is slotted for May 2021 and yes I want to walk CF. I most definitely can count myself in the group of folks that lament that nothing ever remains the same, and yet... as so many pointed out here - it IS an Experience and, come what may - something that will be treasured and cherished not for the things that 'could've been' but for the things that were!
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Perhaps the Camino is "overcrowded" now because of the enthusiasm of returning pilgrims. I feel personally responsible for adding to the overcrowding. I know at least 3 people who would not have done the Camino if it hadn't been for my enthusiasm for it. I better keep my lips zipped 🤐
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Perhaps CF is 'overcrowded' now becayse of the popularity of the movie.
I doubt that much of the growth is due to the movie. Certainly it raised the profile of the Caminos amongst pilgrims from the USA in particular and the remarkable increase in pilgrims from there after the movie seems strong evidence of that. But the Caminos have been growing in popularity very steadily since the mid 1980s and the movie barely caused a blip in the curve. Someone pointed out to me recently - and very fairly - that our perceptions here on the forum are skewed by being inside an 'anglophone bubble'. I doubt that "The Way" has had a serious impact in the increase of numbers of Spanish, Italian, German and other non-English-speaking nationalities.
 

steve 217

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances planning via del la plata
I think some of us (as camino addicts ,otherwise how would we have found ourselves on the forum )are in danger of blaming all our perceived views about overcrowding upon the one commercially not very successful film.
Personally i loved it . It was i know made with there own money and was best described as a love note to Galicia, fair enough they put there reputations and money on the line good luck to them.
Its like someone publicising your own favourite secret restaurant , you want to celebrate the fact that more people know of it but are saddened by the loss of its uniqueness , and the fact that a table is no longer available.
I love the Camino and bore everyone around me about the Camino and what it means to me that love was clearly evident in the film made by the Estevez family so i think, im in good company .
 
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The Way is so not Hollywood, I saw Estevez say in an interview that he knows Hollywood made a lot of crap as he and his father were in a lot of the crap. He also said he was sick of movies being made killing people, that alone makes it a positive.
Interestingly, @Rick of Rick and Peg just posted the interview you mention on another thread (Locations).
Emilio;
"When we pitched it to studio representatives, you could see their eyes glaze over. They’d say, “It’s about spirituality.” So we decided to shoot it digitally and independently. ...Hollywood makes a lot of garbage. We know because we’ve been in some of it. There are less and less movies to go to — films without overt sexuality and language that won’t make me blush. We’re all tired of what’s coming out of Hollywood. Word of mouth will help this film make it."
So be it.
 
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Stivandrer

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I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I am convinced that the film is shot in super16 ie on analogue film.

I know what the quote says, but I think it was what the studios wanted if they were to take it on...
I am not prone to making bets, but it is plain to see that this is old style filming...
Can anyone help to settle this score ...?
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!


Got it !


1587308984997.png
 
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Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
I enjoyed this thread. When Paul was walking through town he heard a child calling tolle lege take and read.
So when I was reading that comedian version of kerkeling a comedian I did not like at all of his Pilgrimage I was myself in a bad place but something sparked. When I saw the way I only was seeking a diversion , but again some runs true. Like dropping my back bag from the bridge that could have been me. Like sitting in the rain like kerkeling and laughing about the absurdity of it all that was me. I am sure if you look at the LaMecque French movie you will find points of truth.
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
A good friend of me have borrowed my copy of The Way, like, she´s telling me, she still hasn´t seen it, can she prolong the loan....?
That is now one year, so last week , I sent for a new copy for myself on the Internet.....!!
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
This is one thing that seems odd about the movie and that struck me already as odd when I watched it the first time: the three pilgrims, while chasing after the boy, enter a courtyard that to me looks as Spanish as they come and both the Dutch and the Irish pilgrim claim immediately that "gypsies live here". Huh??? Whatever Emilio Estevez wants to narrate here ... that looks like a major fail to me.
I understand why people find this scene odd. I must admit, though, that when I first watched the movie, I drank it in unquestioningly.

In retrospect, I see that the grab and dash of a backpack is a bit unrealistic. I guess it's a necessary piece of dramatic license. A gang of professional thieves pilfering cell phones and wallets from an albergue dormitory might have been truer to life, but it would not have advanced the plot.

I also find Joost's prediction that the police will be of no help because they "hate gypsies" rather jarring. That's somewhat sloppy writing. I think it might have been better if he'd told Tom that the police are unlikely to get him the ashes back. It's a low value crime. The chance of retrieving anything is slim to nothing and the police may feel that it's just a matter for insurance. That is a sentiment that I have heard quite often - and I myself have had the experience of a police officer who preferred to ignore evidence of a crime than to deal with it.

What I don't find unrealistic is the quick and confident (and prejudiced) assumption that the kid has led them to a gypsy neighborhood. I've heard too many prejudiced comments and blame for crimes laid against "tinkers," "travelers," "gypsies," "gitanes," in countries all over Europe to know that anti-Romani discrimination is commonplace - even among otherwise enlightened people. In the event that a scruffy kid steals something and escapes to a scruffy part of town, it strikes me as quite believable that some people will immediately label the kid and the neighborhood as "other" - and "other" is often "gypsy."

I had my own encounter with gypsies and anti-gypsy prejudice during my first camino. It wasn't very cinematic and I didn't think of the parallel with the movie until now, but I'll share the story here:

It was a searingly hot afternoon when I arrived at a dusty, Extremaduran town where my companion - an older, European pilgrim - had identified a hostal with a pilgrim discount. In the scruffy outskirts, near the grain silos and the tractor repair shops, we walked past a row of low, white cottages that turned out to be a gypsy neighborhood. Some kids ran out into the road to say hello in English to me. They imitated my exhausted gait and chattered at me, excitedly. Their mothers and big sisters came to the doorways to see what the spectacle was. One of the women shouted out to me and beckoned me to her home, but my walking companion hissed a warning to me "Steer clear of the gypsies buddy. If you stop, before you know it you'll be drinking wine, singing songs, and dancing with a beautiful girl, and sometime tomorrow you'll notice that your wallet is missing." It was only then that the scene was unlocked for me - the darker complexions, the old-fashioned dresses, the modest houses, the indecipherable dialect were the indications of a gypsy community. Not a touristic gypsy community like the flamenco bars of Sacromonte, Granada. A down-to-earth, just getting by, working on the farms, culturally distinct, proud, friendly gypsy community.

I smiled and said hello to the kids, and waved at the women. We exchanged a few words. They wanted to know where I was from and they were pleased when I told them, but I continued to match the pace of my companion who was striding at a purposeful angle toward the plaza. I hope that they weren't offended by this, but I wouldn't blame them if they were. I sometimes wonder what experience we might have had if we had stopped. At the least, I think they would have offered us something to quench our thirst. It's possible that they might have had a room to offer us for the night. I would rather have made a donation to them than spending my money at the mediocre hostal where we ended up. If we had been exceptionally lucky, we might have enjoyed food, music, and conversation with them. I think it's unlikely that any harm would have come to us.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
What I don't find unrealistic is the quick and confident (and prejudiced) assumption that the kid has led them to a gypsy neighborhood. I've heard too many prejudiced comments and blame for crimes laid against "tinkers," "travelers," "gypsies," "gitanes," in countries all over Europe to know that anti-Romani discrimination is commonplace - even among otherwise enlightened people. In the event that a scruffy kid steals something and escapes to a scruffy part of town, it strikes me as quite believable that some people will immediately label the kid and the neighborhood as "other" - and "other" is often "gypsy."
There is much truth in what you say about prejudice and discrimination of the Sinti and Roma populations in Europe. The stereotypes are negative (thieves etc etc) or romanticising (free nomadic life, no worries, music, singing etc etc).

However, the Sinti and Roma in Europe are not a uniform part of the populations and neither are the stereotypes. I am neither Dutch like "Joost" nor Irish like "Jack" but I don't think that these figures would recognise a (supposedly) gypsy neighbourhood in Spain because they would associate a nomadic life in caravans and being constantly on the move with "gypsies" or "travellers". This is why the scene immediately grated with me. These are scenes created for a non-European audience. I also immediately felt, ok, now we are getting a lecture that will tell us how wrong our stereotypes are. It's a laudable effort. Did Sheen/Estevez and the script writers succeed in teaching their movie audience what they wanted them to learn? I don't know ... judging by comments made by pilgrims what sticks in people's minds is "Burgos where the gypsy boy stole the backpack, so you better watch out". 🙁
 

Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
My uncle was a musician and he played for big gipsy weddings and it’s truly a privilege to be invited to their festivities.
I agree there a such and such like everywhere else.
I think a bit color for the uninitiated traveler in the movie.
If you like the whole movie is full of stereotypes. The all knowing drunk insisting of having rights, because he is an American. The nice and wise French policeman. The lost Irish poet . The priest reminding our hero to pray. It’s not much if it is not Dutch. A very untalented pick pocket who sees his errors. And do we start with the only female in the group? If you go that route you look at a canvas picture and complain you can’t go through it.
Some mirror our experiences.
If you like to know a little bit more about Spanish history and minorities read
Ildefonso Falcones.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
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This is why the scene immediately grated with me. These are scenes created for a non-European audience. I also immediately felt, ok, now we are getting a lecture that will tell us how wrong our stereotypes are.
Amen.
 
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Just remembered another thing. I don't know Burgos other than the area around the Cathedral and where camino pilgrims usually walk and eat and sleep. As far as I can tell - perhaps there is someone from Burgos here who knows it better than I do - the area that is shown in the movie is not a "gypsy" area.

There is an area where many Spanish gitanos live in Burgos. It is a shanty town that consists mainly of low level prefabricated houses in dire need of infrastructure improvement. It is a far cry from the scenic old houses and courtyard that we see in the movie.

I found a news article about it once when I googled for the name of the person who is a social worker and a friend of the Estevez' Spanish in-laws. She was instrumental in making them familiar with the situation of the gitanos population in Burgos. There may be a link to the article or a photo from the article in an earlier forum post.
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
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some and then more. see my signature.
Just remembered another thing. I don't know Burgos other than the area around the Cathedral and where camino pilgrims usually walk and eat and sleep. As far as I can tell - perhaps there is someone from Burgos here who knows it better than I do - the area that is shown in the movie is not a "gypsy" area.

There is an area where many Spanish gitanos live in Burgos. It is a shanty town that consists mainly of low level prefabricated houses in dire need of infrastructure improvement. It is a far cry from the scenic old houses and courtyard that we see in the movie.

I found a news article about it once when I googled for the name of the person who is a social worker and a friend of the Estevez' Spanish in-laws. She was instrumental in making them familiar with the situation of the gitanos population in Burgos. There may be a link to the article or a photo from the article in an earlier forum post.


I found this.

 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I found this.
Thanks. I also found one of several articles reporting about the filming of "The Way" in Burgos. This one says:

Meanwhile, the movie extras, all of them from the area, waited for their moment. The members of the movie team had warned them: "To work on this you need a lot of patience". Efraín Dual, Jesús Hernández and Moisés Dual were some of the lucky ones. Arriving from the community of El Encuentro, through Promoción Gitana, they were not yet very clear about their role but were delighted with the opportunity. "I think we have to play football and pretend we're talking to each other," they commented, dreaming already of walking the red carpet one day.

Not every gitano of Burgos lives in La Encuentro but this is what La Encuentro looks like or looked like when the movie was filmed, the home of about 150 gitano families in Burgos:

La Encuentra.jpg
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
I am neither Dutch like "Joost" nor Irish like "Jack" but I don't think that these figures would recognise a (supposedly) gypsy neighbourhood in Spain because they would associate a nomadic life in caravans and being constantly on the move with "gypsies" or "travellers". This is why the scene immediately grated with me.
It's not inconceivable to me that they would know. In one of those countries, I've had an area of social housing pointed out to me as the "dangerous" part of town where formerly nomadic people settled. I'm going to drop this topic here.

It is a far cry from the scenic old houses and courtyard that we see in the movie.
This. Absolutely this. The location team found a very quaint area and hung some washing to make it look poor - Perhaps they figured that poor people don't have dryers. But anyway, a location chosen for aesthetics rather than authenticity.
 
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@Raggy, I fully agree with what you say. I was trying to restrict my comments to how the movie figures are portrayed. They are not "real" people, of course. The narrative strands of the movie are nearly all standard camino pilgrim fare, taken from Hitt's book or similar accounts. The Burgos narrative strand is quite different from that, imho.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
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I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
- ah It came by mail today and a new viewing was nice.....still worth the time......
 

aussie62

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
planning to walk 2017
I'm sorry, but if it had been cheesy Hollywood they would have humped it in bed in the Parador.

To me it was more about rediscovering paternal love and the interplay of human relationships. The route provided an iconic underpinning to the main theme, but the movie was never intended as a Glass's Guide to it. If it had been, arguably a quarter would have been about crossing the Meseta.

For me seeing it was the final link in a series of events which inspired me to walk.

DeColores

Bogong
yes you got it , that is all it is about , take from it what you need , dont get to deep about it xx
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I don’t want to re-open a debate over the value of The Way, but a friend of mine who has walked several caminos and who is a Spanish teacher at a community college told me she was delighted to learn that The Way has been dubbed into Spanish. She now assigns it to her class!

For so many forum members who have watched the movie numerous times and who want to improve their castellano, watching the Spanish version might be a good language lesson.
 
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For so many forum members who have watched the movie numerous times and who want to improve their castellano, watching the Spanish version might be a good language lesson.
Fascinating, and good fun. Especially because the English script is so familiar! 😄
thanks for posting.
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
This is one thing that seems odd about the movie and that struck me already as odd when I watched it the first time: the three pilgrims, while chasing after the boy, enter a courtyard that to me looks as Spanish as they come and both the Dutch and the Irish pilgrim claim immediately that "gypsies live here". Huh??? Whatever Emilio Estevez wants to narrate here ... that looks like a major fail to me.
I remember reading that the Gypsy by-plot was suggested by friends of Emilio Est´ son & his new local Spanish family...
 

JamesGeier

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2016
CF Autumn 2017
VdlP Spring 2021
I remember reading that the Gypsy by-plot was suggested by friends of Emilio Est´ son & his new local Spanish family...
I recall hearing an interview with Emilio Estevez in which he said that he needed a means for the main character to go to his lowest point emotionally, deeply question his motives and why he was doing the Camino, and then rise out of that emotional darkness. The stolen backpack incident and gypsy by-plot was that vehicle. Having been there a couple times, the whole incident seems unlikely and does not mesh with the Camino experience I had.
Buen Camino,
--james--
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
The movie, The Way, came out around 2011-12. I think i viewed it around 2014. At that time, I had never seen any other videos of the CF. Previously, I had read, Sr. Joyce Rupp’s, Walk in a Relaxed Manner (2005), Shirley McClaine’s The Camino (2005) and To the Field of Stars: A Pilgrims journey to SdC. (2008 Kevin Codd). The books provided different perspectives, struggles, triumps and spiritual orientations. However, the movie provided the first visual impression for me to digest. At that time, I do not remember seeing many other videos about the Camino? The visual effects, landscapes, sites, so to speak, were important factors, as well, in my deciding to walk the CF.

 
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Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
Our first awareness of the Camino Frances was seeing it highlighted in an episode of Rick Steves. I decided to investigate further and "discovered" The Way, a few years before I retired (yearend 2014). The movie for me was inspirational and I told my wife, "that's what I want to do after I retire!". She said she'd join me. Since then we've walked CF three times and have plans to walk again in 2021. We watch The Way a few times each year. We enjoy picking out the places we've walked or seen. Love the comraderie and tension between the four pilgrims, a bit like we experience ourselves! Bob
 
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Fun to watch. Though they speak so fast!! :oops:
...and the dubbed voices sound so weird, except for Capt Henri Sebastian! Maybe it is the real Tchéki Karyo. What a wonderfully versatile actor he is.
Super trivial, I know, but it always annoys me that they got him to anglicise the pronunciation of Henri when he introduces himself to Tom.
When I recently gave a talk to students at my local school about the Camino, I found myself quoting his memorable lines: "People from all walks of life... " etc.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I fell in again and watched The Way when the Xmas tree had been brought in, the house dusted, and floor washed and the lull before the storm begged for a break before the telly...
I ran it for the benefit of my son, and he enjoyed it a lot.....
I heard about Jakobsvejen from my old dad, now he heard about it from me...
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I was just thinking today, breaking in my new Lowas, how fortuitous it was that all Daniel's clothes fit his father so well. Even the shoes/boots!
I never thought of that. Just saw as typical poetic license of sort. Besides I just assumed nobody would have removed footwear and clothing from a corpse that had been in the elements outside and given them to a relative.
 
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You're right. After all Daniel had two coats, the yellow corpse one and the blue one Tom uses. I guess he had extra shoes too. His pack must have been really heavy, two of everything!
 
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Hey guys,
To quote a Carly Simon lyric..."There's nothing you can do that will turn me away..." from The Way!!!
 

JohnLloyd

Author of "Go Your Own Way"
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés - SJPDP to SdC - Autumn 2018
Portugués - Porto to SdC - Spring 2019
Francés again - ASAP
If I hadn't seen "The Way", I wouldn't have known about the Camino and it wouldn't have changed my life.

I can't think of another film that has had such an impact on me.

Therefore, I can only express gratitude to Emilio for making it, and to everyone who had a part in its production.

No film can ever encapsulate a Camino, for every single one is unique and separate.

But watching "The Way" showed me another world, and in so many ways.

As for contrivances, geographical inaccuracies and dramatic tricks, so what?

The journey was the story - not the route that was taken.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
You're right. After all Daniel had two coats, the yellow corpse one and the blue one Tom uses. I guess he had extra shoes too. His pack must have been really heavy, two of everything!
it's all pretend anyway, but I suppose the character of Tom could have easily gone to one of the outdoor equipment shoppes in SJPdP and purchased what could not be salvaged from the corpse of his son of from the bacpack. After all Tom got monster credit card power lol
 
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