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Disparaging "The Way"

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kleckam

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April '12, May '18
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.
I suppose that after 19,000+ views and 300+ comments, that I am very late to this party. Regardless, "The Way" inspired me to walk the Camino Frances in '12. Prior to seeing the movie, I had no knowledge of the Camino de Santiago. The Camino itself, drew me back in '18. I'm not sure how many movies inspire someone to actually do something? Kudos to the Estevez family and all involved in the '11 movie production. Happy New Year to all!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I suppose that after 19,000+ views and 300+ comments, that I am very late to this party. Regardless, "The Way" inspired me to walk the Camino Frances in '12. Prior to seeing the movie, I had no knowledge of the Camino de Santiago. The Camino itself, drew me back in '18. I'm not sure how many movies inspire someone to actually do something? Kudos to the Estevez family and all involved in the '11 movie production. Happy New Year to all!
"The Way" will always be extremely special to me, because like you, I had never heard of the Camino and seeing the movie was the only reason I have walked five caminos since 2015...this past year was to have been my 6th.
 

Terri B

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1998 St Cuthberts Way, 1999 West Highland Way, 2016 & 2019 SJPDP to Santiago, 2020 Porto to Santiago
Because we were in lockdown off and on for months over winter, complete with time and distance restrictions I have watched The Way as well as Camino six Ways and Camino Skies a number of times to compensate for missing walking the Portuguese Coastal route in May. As I don't known when I'll be able to leave Australia to return I'll be watching them some more.
 
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JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Something else the film gave interested pilgrims was the filming on location in bars etc that exist in reality - they weren’t just a film set. For example, the restaurant in Pamplona where Tom meets Joorst is Meson Caballo Blanco, up behind the cathedral. The bar where Tom’s pack was stolen exists, and of course the filming in the Parador in Leon was also on location in that stunning hotel. Quite a few Forum members have visited those - and other - locations from the movie and the opportunity to be there has been wonderful.
Below is a photo of the spot where Tom and Joorst first met.

516455C6-945A-4274-A842-E8A4A1E67AEB.jpeg
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Below is a photo of the spot where Tom and Joorst first met.
If it had been that empty, Joost would have sat at another table and wrecked the plot!

Ah ... hang on...wrong restaurant.
 
D

Deleted member 87865

Guest
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

Unlikely. He had no sense of direction. Got lost walking out the Porte Notre-Dame. Two days after crossing over he was back at Orisson having lunch. :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
"The Way" will always be extremely special to me, because like you, I had never heard of the Camino and seeing the movie was the only reason I have walked five caminos since 2015...this past year was to have been my 6th.
This thread comes back to my attention as I do a lot of personal paperwork cleanup. I did post on the thread early on, something to the effect of "no big deal one way or another". Some things rooted out today suggested to me that my post probably lacked grace.

Throughout, and after, my first Camino - my daily notes, e-mails home, and thoughts upon returning home had a common theme. "I kinda enjoyed it but...I just have the strangest feeling that it was never about me...there's a shoe just waiting to drop out there."

Less than a year after my start from SJPP, wife and I were invited to a timeshare in Lake Chelan by my most excellent friend from college - almost 40 years of life that we'd known each other. He says to my wife something to the effectof "What's up with B? He seems more calm and collected than I have ever seen him."

She responds, "Well, he's been like that since the Camino." Suddenly, the extended family erupted with "You have been on the Camino?" My friend was non-plussed as he had heard of the Camino but had never thought to walk it during his working years. Now, with dementia coming on quickly, he had not given it a second thought.

Sometime later during that stay, he was introduced to THE movie. A month after that, he is fretting about being called to walk it because "You know, it's just impossible in my condition!"

Just six months later, we walked out of SJPP, and made it past Santiago and on to Finisterre then Muxia before calling it quits.

I am now reminded of how jubilant he was in Muxia. Despite a long, varied, and successful professional and personal life - - he now had "done something epic".

What brought me back to the thread with these thoughts? Well, his unread obituary surfaced in a raft of today's paperwork sorting. (He wrote his own obituary with help from an editor. I know...I was in the kitchen of his house busily preparing a family meal.) The final line in it before naming survivors was this:

"A wonderful moment in his life was completing the pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago de Compostela with his dear friend."

So, yeah...I'm am going to have to say that it was a great movie. (But, you don't have to like it.)

B
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
That was a very moving story, B, which prompts me to reflect on the impact the film had on my elder brother, now deceased.


When I was embarking on my first camino in 2012, my brother, himself an invalid who had retired to Portugal, was quite incensed. He knew little about the camino - bar what he had heard from me - and I was subjected to his genuinely felt anger about my recklessness thinking I could embark on 1000km journey, on a bike, in a foreign country for heavens sake, “at your age!”. What was he supposed to do when he got the phone call that I’d fallen off my bike, or worse, and was in a hospital in far off rural Spain? etc.


I was to visit him after the Camino, and I decided to bring along with me the recently purchased DVD. That, I thought will explain everything.


The night before departure, at Triana Backpackers, I had all my stuff laid out on the bed before a final pack, and on a whim took a photo. (This isn’t all of it actually: there was also an iPad, camera equipment,tripod, bike tools, lock, spare tube - man I was loaded).


Here’s the picture, and at the top you can see the DVD in a yellow jewel case.

P6080188.jpeg

Five weeks later, we watched it together in Portugal. He was entranced by it. It did the trick.

I can’t help thinking that the DVD in the picture might be the only copy of The Way that has actually done a camino.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @JamesGeier
I can accept your view point about a need to "insert" some fatherly depression (following the death of his son), but in the DVD Special section Emilio explains how and why they chose that bar. (Now here I must explain that I have been into this bar twice, back in 2015 when it still looked like the movie set and again in 2017 when it had significantly changed). They walked in the bar and asked the owner if they could shoot a scene from their movie there. Emilio explained the scene and the owner made the comment that only the week before a backpack had been stolen (by who was never explained). As for leaving one's backpack outside - well if there are 20 or so people in the bar and they all have their backpacks then the owner gets upset that they (the packs) are taking up space for more drinkers. Cheers
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Off topic but...
I was fascinated to just discover that the producer of The Way was David Alexanian, also the producer (and major participant) of Long Way Down/Round/Up. Kinda makes sense.
Screen Shot 2021-01-08 at 11.53.37 pm.jpeg
 
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPD-Burgos 2012/13 …. suspended the VdlP in Fuente de Cantos 3/20
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.
There's an old piece of film - on YouTube? - of a priest and two boys pushing a handcart along the Camino - can someone help me find? Thank you
 
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malingerer

samarkand
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
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.
Oh Yeah? My family name is Jack. I come from Ireland. I totally disagree with the moronic part ascribed to a certain character who constantly says "I'm Jack, from Ireland". What family heritage relates to THAT !

Samarkand.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Last edited:

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I think I'll Push You is about someone pushing his wheelchair-boubd friend on the Camino, rather than about a priest and some boys pushing a handcart, but that is just going by the trailer.
"I'll Push You" is an incredible true story about a friendship that knows no limits and their resilience to persevere to the end of their journey. It was very emotional for me to watch, and even now evokes the same feelings as I am reminded of the film.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPD-Burgos 2012/13 …. suspended the VdlP in Fuente de Cantos 3/20

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!
"I'll Push You" is an incredible true story about a friendship that knows no limits and their resilience to persevere to the end of their journey. It was very emotional for me to watch, and even now evokes the same feelings as I am reminded of the film.

I loved this too! The labor of love from everyone was amazing and heartwarming!
 
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pepi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
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.
Movie and book have only one subject, it's not about the Camino but a boring self-gratification of a third-rate celebrity; not even close to The Way. Sorry Roland, my opinion.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Movie and book have only one subject, it's not about the Camino but a boring self-gratification of a third-rate celebrity; not even close to The Way. Sorry Roland, my opinion.
Your opinion doesn't change the great impact on the "germanification" of the CF since release of the book and movie. Just take a look at the statistics.

BC
Roland
 

pepi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
Your opinion doesn't change the great impact on the "germanification" of the CF since release of the book and movie. Just take a look at the statistics.

BC
Roland
@Roland49, I don't dispute at all that Kerkeling made the Camino tremendously popular in Germany.
But I felt exactly like @tomnorth:
....His judgmental attitude really annoyed me. There were precious few people that he met along the way that he had anything good to say about. Just by looking at someone he seemed to think he could tell you exactly who they were and what motivated them.
Most irritating for me was the way the Kerkeling movie portrays almost all (German) women-peregrinas as frustrated whackos; I certainly hope and know, that this is not why so many Germans are attracted by the Jakobsweg! But then, I am puzzled, what is the actual reason? In this film, there is none of the gayety, laughter, and friendliness I experienced on my five past Caminos and that I am so longing to revisit. As a German-speaking Swiss, I often mingled with Germans on the way, and I saw none of such negative attitude and humorless sarcasm.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
@Roland49, I don't dispute at all that Kerkeling made the Camino tremendously popular in Germany.
But I felt exactly like @tomnorth:

Most irritating for me was the way the Kerkeling movie portrays almost all (German) women-peregrinas as frustrated whackos; I certainly hope and know, that this is not why so many Germans are attracted by the Jakobsweg! But then, I am puzzled, what is the actual reason? In this film, there is none of the gayety, laughter, and friendliness I experienced on my five past Caminos and that I am so longing to revisit. As a German-speaking Swiss, I often mingled with Germans on the way, and I saw none of such negative attitude and humorless sarcasm.
Yip, that is fact.
But if you take all his background and his past in account you will see that he was just that lost soul, trying to get rid of some of the (mental) weight he did carry and that did bring him to the Camino.
And you have to take in account that he did walk in 2001, IMHO there was not as many gayety and laughter in those days, maybe a lot friendliness. Look at the statistics.

The movie is somehow bad and doesn't show many aspects you can find in the book. It is oversimplified and overdramatized in a manner that often don't fit to the written word. And you have to read between the lines to understand his humour. And don't try to make the failure to take it as a travel-report, it is a fictional novel in most parts.

Be happy that most Germans are not as described in his book. Most I met were friendly, happy people having fun walking the Camino. Except for a few grumpy old Italians and a Spaniard who did the Camino on horseback.

I can't imaging the (mentally and physically) change that Kerkeling made on the way to SdC. After that he almost made no public appearences on TV.

I can't tell you the reason why so many Germans are attracted to the Camino after the release of the book and movie.
But it is an irrevocable fact that the rise of the numbers of german pilgrims did correlate to the releases of book and movie.

BC
Roland
 

pepi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
I can't tell you the reason why so many Germans are attracted to the Camino after the release of the book and movie.
But it is an irrevocable fact that the rise of the numbers of german pilgrims did correlate to the releases of book and movie.

BC
Roland
I concur with that, let's call it a day. 😃

Buen Camino @Roland49
 
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malingerer

samarkand
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Thank you for this very perceptive insight. Like Camino Chrissy I think I probably belong in that category.
Strongly disagree! My attachment to the Camino ( 2003) predates the film and is all the stronger for that. I did not need a film to remind me of it or to spur me on ever since! That would be worshipping the coffee jar instead of the contents! :)

samarkand.
 

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