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The enduring legacy of the movie ‘The Way’ (and a new book by Jen Hutchison)

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Time of past OR future Camino
CF whole & part 12-19, VF 17, VDLP+ptSbres22
How many Forum members have watched the movie, ‘The Way’ at least once? … More than we’ll ever know.

How many Forum members have visited some of the locations featured in the movie? … More than we’ll ever know.

And how many Forum members who have met, or know of a pilgrim, inspired by Tom in ‘The Way’, carried the ashes of a loved one and scattered those ashes in meaningful places along the various caminos? … More than we’ll ever know.

One pilgrim who had watched the movie and who had been inspired by Tom and scattered the ashes of a loved one was the Australian author and publisher, Jen Hutchison.

Last month I read about her death from cancer, aged 67, in one of our national newspapers here in Australia. Gone too soon.

The article, in part, stated that after her son Raif’s death ten years ago, Jen decided to walk the ancient pathways of the Camino de Santiago with some of Raif’s ashes, journaling along the way. Once home, Jen wrote a poignant memoir of that life-saving walk and her growing adjustment to life without him. The book is called ‘Motherling - a walk’. It was published in 2019.

I ordered the book, read it and absolutely loved it. It’s beautifully written. Jen shared her grief - not in a ‘feel sorry for me’ way but in an open and pragmatic way. There was a lot of laughter and delightful moments in the book which Jen shared with the reader. I think a lot of the feelings Martin Sheen felt in his portrayal of Tom were shared by Jen as she walked and scattered Raif’s ashes. She was inspired by Tom’s character to scatter Raif’s ashes for a similar reason - Raif had wanted to walk the Camino with a couple of friends but his work circumstances at the time prevented him from doing so, so he never fulfilled his dream.

Since reading the book I’ve pondered a lot if Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez could have realised at the outset what an enduring effect their movie would have on those who have viewed it.

I think it’s more than they’ll ever know.

Buen Camino everyone -

Jenny
 
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I'm not one who appreciates this movie, at all - I watched it once after walking my first camino and hated it. But strong opinions aside, there's no dispute how many have been inspired by it. So many.
De gustibus...
The article, in part, stated that after her son Raif’s death ten years ago, Jen decided to walk the ancient pathways of the Camino de Santiago with some of Raif’s ashes, journaling along the way. Once home, Jen wrote a poignant memoir of that life-saving walk and her growing adjustment to life without him. The book is called ‘Motherling - a walk’. It was published in 2019.

I ordered the book, read it and absolutely loved it. It’s beautifully written. Jen shared her grief - not in a ‘feel sorry for me’ way but in an open and pragmatic way. There was a lot of laughter and delightful moments in the book which Jen shared with the reader. I think a lot of the feelings Martin Sheen felt in his portrayal of Tom were shared by Jen as she walked and scattered Raif’s ashes. She was inspired by Tom’s character to scatter Raif’s ashes for a similar reason - Raif had wanted to walk the Camino with a couple of friends but his work circumstances at the time prevented him from doing so, so he never fulfilled his dream.

Since reading the book I’ve pondered a lot if Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez could have realised at the outset what an enduring effect their movie would have on those who have viewed it.
And this beautiful article you mention is just one example of how that inspiration has played out in real life. It wouldn't be a surprise if Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez actually had at least an intuitive sense of how big an impact their movie could have. The camino had an impact on them after all - and they must have known they had the name recognition to spread the word.
 

JesperK

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2013-2016x2-2018 CP:2014 CF:(2022)
It has obviously inspired a lot of us. I saw it right after my first camino and got a lot of laughs out of it. But I am glad I saw it after I walked - due to some of the weird episodes. People walking the wrong way - the bridge that's not really there, the knowledge that Martin Sheen was the only one of the actors that had a backpack full of pilgrim gear, the fact that most of the movie takes place before and in Burgos. But having said that - it is a great movie that actually captures the feeling of the camino. I have seen it numerous times now.
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I think that those who learned of the Caminos through seeing the film often have a different and more positive view of the movie from those of us who first found the Caminos in other ways. A cause for gratitude and affection. I have watched it a couple of times and found it modestly entertaining but it has no special significance for me. I can't see why people get so worked up about the geographical anomalies - it is a work of fiction not Holy Writ :) But I can testify to the depth of feeling which some hold for the movie. One day in Melide an avid devotee angrily told me I should be grateful for the film because without it neither I nor any of the score of other pilgrims in sight would ever have discovered the Caminos. He walked off without answering when I asked how a 2010 movie could have inspired my 1990 pilgrimage.
 

aussie62

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
planning to walk 2017
I think that those who learned of the Caminos through seeing the film often have a different and more positive view of the movie from those of us who first found the Caminos in other ways. A cause for gratitude and affection. I have watched it a couple of times and found it modestly entertaining but it has no special significance for me. I can't see why people get so worked up about the geographical anomalies - it is a work of fiction not Holy Writ :) But I can testify to the depth of feeling which some hold for the movie. One day in Melide an avid devotee angrily told me I should be grateful for the film because without it neither I nor any of the score of other pilgrims in sight would ever have discovered the Caminos. He walked off without answering when I asked how a 2010 movie could have inspired my 1990 pilgrimage.
totally agree ...its just a movie ...its the message .. to many negative Nancys in this world
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Time of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
The identity of the Camino de Sanatiago was confirmed to me at the age of 14 in 1968, when a schoolmate of mine was taken to walking a lenghty piece of it due to substance abuse, a new fad at the time.
Asked my father, the pastor, and he thought it had long gone into oblivion.
So rest assured it was gathering momentum already at that time over here in Europe...
I was glad to see "The Way" after my initial Camino and will see it regularily..
Did y´all know that it is an indie film shot in analogue super 16 format, thus adding to an old fashioned colour scheme and old fahioned lighting ?
- of course you knew....
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I absolutely loved "The Way". I own the dvd, which I loaned out to family and friends before my first Camino. With my early retirement "just around the corner" in 2015, and after seeing the movie, I found this forum, had questions answered, and told myself "I think I can do this!"
I have watched "The Way" only 3-4 times, but even now, hearing any reference to the movie, I always smile to myself. The most priceless moment in the movie for me, was being moved to tears as they entered the Cathedral in Santiago and Jost walks in on his knees in humble, contrite submission to God.

P.S. I found the movie entertaining, humorous, serious, and uplifting all rolled into one. Many of us may have Netflix and the like, but there often seems to be few quality "feel good" movies to choose from. I know I've wasted time looking.
 
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JP

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014 & 2017
Camino Portuguese 2016
Camino Del Norte 2019.
I knew of the Camino before I saw the film and I thought someday I might try and walk it. I picked up the film at a Walmart Department Store late Summer of 2013 just because Martin Sheen was on the cover and did not know it was about the Camino Frances. I watched the film and it lit a fire under me and by Spring 2014 I was walking my first Camino. It was not so much the story but the spirit of adventure and freedom to drop everything and just start walking that made such an impression on me.
 
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JohnLloyd

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés (2018), Português (2019), Inglés (2022)
Watching The Way introduced me to the concept of the Camino.

I was already a fan of Martin Sheen for so many reasons, including his social activism and The West Wing.

But this film changed the course of my life in many ways. Mindset, career, lifestyle.

Of course, it's a confection, and easy to pick apart.

But its intentions and ambitions were warm-hearted, inspirational, and positive.

There are many films that I admire more.

But no other film changed my life like The Way.

For that, I will always be grateful.

 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
I first watched The Way in early 2012 when I was recovering from quadriceps tendon repair surgery for a completely ruptured right quad tendon. I had to relearn how to walk. I said to myself that when I got to 100% I was going to walk the Camino. The Way was the original inspiration for my 2015 Camino Frances. I’ve watched The Way more times than I can count.
 

SueV

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Watching The Way introduced me to the concept of the Camino.

I was already a fan of Martin Sheen for so many reasons, including his social activism and The West Wing.

But this film changed the course of my life in many ways. Mindset, career, lifestyle.

Of course, it's a confection, and easy to pick apart.

But its intentions and ambitions were warm-hearted, inspirational, and positive.

There are many films that I admire more.

But no other film changed my life like The Way.

For that, I will always be grateful.
Absolutely well said. I have watched the film many times and see something new each time.
 

Len Dacombe

Len from Canada
Time of past OR future Camino
April/May 2015 & September 2015
How many Forum members have watched the movie, ‘The Way’ at least once? … More than we’ll ever know.

How many Forum members have visited some of the locations featured in the movie? … More than we’ll ever know.

And how many Forum members who have met, or know of a pilgrim, inspired by Tom in ‘The Way’, carried the ashes of a loved one and scattered those ashes in meaningful places along the various caminos? … More than we’ll ever know.

One pilgrim who had watched the movie and who had been inspired by Tom and scattered the ashes of a loved one was the Australian author and publisher, Jen Hutchison.

Last month I read about her death from cancer, aged 67, in one of our national newspapers here in Australia. Gone too soon.

The article, in part, stated that after her son Raif’s death ten years ago, Jen decided to walk the ancient pathways of the Camino de Santiago with some of Raif’s ashes, journaling along the way. Once home, Jen wrote a poignant memoir of that life-saving walk and her growing adjustment to life without him. The book is called ‘Motherling - a walk’. It was published in 2019.

I ordered the book, read it and absolutely loved it. It’s beautifully written. Jen shared her grief - not in a ‘feel sorry for me’ way but in an open and pragmatic way. There was a lot of laughter and delightful moments in the book which Jen shared with the reader. I think a lot of the feelings Martin Sheen felt in his portrayal of Tom were shared by Jen as she walked and scattered Raif’s ashes. She was inspired by Tom’s character to scatter Raif’s ashes for a similar reason - Raif had wanted to walk the Camino with a couple of friends but his work circumstances at the time prevented him from doing so, so he never fulfilled his dream.

Since reading the book I’ve pondered a lot if Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez could have realised at the outset what an enduring effect their movie would have on those who have viewed it.

I think it’s more than they’ll ever know.

Buen Camino everyone -

Jenny
Once!!! I have watched it a dozen times at least. It inspired me to walk the Camino in 2015. I think the character development in the film was spectacular. We walk the Camino for a “reason”, only to find that there were deeper issues that God wanted us to discover and heal from.

I think I’ll watch it again now!!
 
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We saw it maybe a year before our retirement. Peg was a bit familiar with the camino beforehand but that wasn't the reason for watching the movie. At the end Peg was enthused because she could go on a long hike without sleeping on the ground like when we backpacked. Within a week of her retirement we were in Spain.

I've watched The Way many times since but usually at a Red Cross Blood Donation Center. The movie and the platlets donation are very close in duration.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I've watched The Way many times since but usually at a Red Cross Blood Donation Center. The movie and the platlets donation are very close in duration.
Years ago in Scotland I was giving blood when I realised that the background music being played was the soundtrack album from "Little Shop of Horrors". I started laughing out loud and nurses and attendants rushed over to find out what this weird reaction was about. Hard to explain to them when none of them had seen the film! :)
 

walkinglover

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, '16 and '18; Portuguese '17; Ingles - 19
How many Forum members have watched the movie, ‘The Way’ at least once? … More than we’ll ever know.

How many Forum members have visited some of the locations featured in the movie? … More than we’ll ever know.

And how many Forum members who have met, or know of a pilgrim, inspired by Tom in ‘The Way’, carried the ashes of a loved one and scattered those ashes in meaningful places along the various caminos? … More than we’ll ever know.

One pilgrim who had watched the movie and who had been inspired by Tom and scattered the ashes of a loved one was the Australian author and publisher, Jen Hutchison.

Last month I read about her death from cancer, aged 67, in one of our national newspapers here in Australia. Gone too soon.

The article, in part, stated that after her son Raif’s death ten years ago, Jen decided to walk the ancient pathways of the Camino de Santiago with some of Raif’s ashes, journaling along the way. Once home, Jen wrote a poignant memoir of that life-saving walk and her growing adjustment to life without him. The book is called ‘Motherling - a walk’. It was published in 2019.

I ordered the book, read it and absolutely loved it. It’s beautifully written. Jen shared her grief - not in a ‘feel sorry for me’ way but in an open and pragmatic way. There was a lot of laughter and delightful moments in the book which Jen shared with the reader. I think a lot of the feelings Martin Sheen felt in his portrayal of Tom were shared by Jen as she walked and scattered Raif’s ashes. She was inspired by Tom’s character to scatter Raif’s ashes for a similar reason - Raif had wanted to walk the Camino with a couple of friends but his work circumstances at the time prevented him from doing so, so he never fulfilled his dream.

Since reading the book I’ve pondered a lot if Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez could have realised at the outset what an enduring effect their movie would have on those who have viewed it.

I think it’s more than they’ll ever know.

Buen Camino everyone -

Jenny
We have watched the movie more than we can count since 2015. We have walked all or part of the Frances, 3x for me and 5 times for my husband. He has also done the Norte, Santiago to Muxia, and we have together the Portuguese and Ingles routes. My husband spread some of his dad's ashes in 2017 on the Portuguese route.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I was in Ponferrada yesterday evening eating a hamburguesa across the street from the Templar castle when two Aussie blokes with drinks in their hands were looking for a table. I invited them to join me and met Jesus and Juan. Their parents had emigrated to Australia from a small town about 20 km from Vigo. Martin Sheen’s father had also emigrated from this town and married an Irish woman. Jesus and Juan had just visited to pay respect to their ancestors. I didn’t understand the name of the town but there is now a statue of Martin Sheen there. I did enjoy the movie. And Jack Hite’s book which I had just reread last week. Buen Camino
 
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I already knew of the Camino (and knew Marty - went to mass with him regularly at St. Monica's in Santa Monica in the 90s and early aughts) and saw the movie the first weekend it was out. I had just (badly) sprained my ankle, which eventually required surgery, so I didn't walk my first Camino until 2015, at which point I marveled at the emotions they so perfectly captured, and the poetic license they took with some elements. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the movie - it's one of my faves. And I own the soundtrack, which takes me to Galicia anytime I want.
 

jbreuner

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, April 28, 2022 to ???
I think I saw "The Way" shortly after it came out, and I watched it several times since. It absolutely was my inspiration to walk the Camino. Many years passed before I was able to go (May, 2022), but that movie definitely set me on the path to getting there. I have recommended it many times to others who have even an inkling of walking the Camino. Unfortunately, it seems to be hard to find these days.
 

Len Dacombe

Len from Canada
Time of past OR future Camino
April/May 2015 & September 2015
I already knew of the Camino (and knew Marty - went to mass with him regularly at St. Monica's in Santa Monica in the 90s and early aughts) and saw the movie the first weekend it was out. I had just (badly) sprained my ankle, which eventually required surgery, so I didn't walk my first Camino until 2015, at which point I marveled at the emotions they so perfectly captured, and the poetic license they took with some elements. I can't tell you how many times I've seen the movie - it's one of my faves. And I own the soundtrack, which takes me to Galicia anytime I want.
When did you walk in 2015? I was on the trail from April 9th to May 13th. 2022.
 
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AnneO

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I haven’t seen it and don’t intend to, at least not until I get back from my first Camino next year. I don’t want my Camino to be influenced by it in any way. I don’t know why I feel that way about it because I devour all kinds of Camino information, and watching Camino vlogs by walkers on YouTube is one of my favorite things. Maybe it is just that I am not much of a movie person to begin with.
 
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Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen wrote a joint memoir called "On the Way", which covers a lot of their lives but with special emphasis on the filming of "The Way". Being a fan of the movie, I read it and found it quite interesting, especially for someone who doesn't usually read celebrity autobiographies. Any lovers of the movie might find it particularly interesting.

One intriguing detail - I guess Mr. Estevez's film company didn't get permission to film inside the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela until the absolute last minute to meet their filming schedule. At least at the time, they were the first (commercial?) movie company to be allowed to film there.
 

Summerson

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
St Lands End to St John O'groats
There are only two genuine human characters in The Way: Tom and Joost, and the cameo from Tchéky Karyo (from The Missing/Baptiste). If you focus on them, and the late September/October mood of the Camino, it's an OK, fleetingly inspiring, film. 3 Caminos on Amazon is a much more interesting exploration of the potential for friendship, forgiveness and release along the Camino.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
How many Forum members have watched the movie, ‘The Way’ at least once? … More than we’ll ever know.

How many Forum members have visited some of the locations featured in the movie? … More than we’ll ever know.

And how many Forum members who have met, or know of a pilgrim, inspired by Tom in ‘The Way’, carried the ashes of a loved one and scattered those ashes in meaningful places along the various caminos? … More than we’ll ever know.

One pilgrim who had watched the movie and who had been inspired by Tom and scattered the ashes of a loved one was the Australian author and publisher, Jen Hutchison.

Last month I read about her death from cancer, aged 67, in one of our national newspapers here in Australia. Gone too soon.

The article, in part, stated that after her son Raif’s death ten years ago, Jen decided to walk the ancient pathways of the Camino de Santiago with some of Raif’s ashes, journaling along the way. Once home, Jen wrote a poignant memoir of that life-saving walk and her growing adjustment to life without him. The book is called ‘Motherling - a walk’. It was published in 2019.

I ordered the book, read it and absolutely loved it. It’s beautifully written. Jen shared her grief - not in a ‘feel sorry for me’ way but in an open and pragmatic way. There was a lot of laughter and delightful moments in the book which Jen shared with the reader. I think a lot of the feelings Martin Sheen felt in his portrayal of Tom were shared by Jen as she walked and scattered Raif’s ashes. She was inspired by Tom’s character to scatter Raif’s ashes for a similar reason - Raif had wanted to walk the Camino with a couple of friends but his work circumstances at the time prevented him from doing so, so he never fulfilled his dream.

Since reading the book I’ve pondered a lot if Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez could have realised at the outset what an enduring effect their movie would have on those who have viewed it.

I think it’s more than they’ll ever know.

Buen Camino everyone -

Jenny
I cant say it inspired me to go, I had already read several books, and was determined to walk.
But I did use it as a tool to convince my husband, and family that it was quite safe, they had no concept, and my husband is not intrepid in the slightest.
I enjoy the movie and have watched it countless times, when ever I'm homesick for the Camino.
Such simple little things are so realistic, like at the beginning when Toms's backpack knocks over the lamp - and of course the Camino itself.
 
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Len Dacombe

Len from Canada
Time of past OR future Camino
April/May 2015 & September 2015
There are only two genuine human characters in The Way: Tom and Joost, and the cameo from Tchéky Karyo (from The Missing/Baptiste). If you focus on them, and the late September/October mood of the Camino, it's an OK, fleetingly inspiring, film. 3 Caminos on Amazon is a much more interesting exploration of the potential for friendship, forgiveness and release along the Camino.
I would say all four of them experienced something special in the movie. The Irishman’s perspective on faith became more positive and the young lady came to terms with her abortion and I believe she received forgiveness which took away a huge burden from her shoulders. Just my opinion.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
March 2019
April 2022
I had become aware of the Camino over the years, and had met several who had walked, but my main media reference was in the UK series (Inspector) Lewis, where the det. sergeant, Hathaway, walks the Camino but doesn't go into the Cathedral once he arrives.

I did see The Way twice, though, before I walked -- would like to watch it again after having walked at least part of it and getting a Compestela.
 
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A co-worker suggested I see this movie - huh, :rolleyes: "I'm NOT a movie person!" "I know you don't like movies, but you may like this one." At home that evening, I did a search. Walking... I like to walk. Ok, Let's see what the library has -- I put it on hold - #585. When I finally got it, and was maybe 40 minutes into it, I thought - this old guy is walking. In a beautiful place. Alone. I could do that. And I did - I turned 69 on my first Camino, and have walked every year since except 2019 & 2020. Leaving for another in 4 days... and will turn 77 somewhere along the way. How many times have I seen the movie? I think it’s more than I’ll ever know. ❤️ Gratitudes every step of the way... 🙏
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
I first walked Camino Frances 2001.

I came across The Way movie poster when it hit theaters. But, didn’t see it at movie house.

In 2015 life became more than expected. I worked an overnight job. I would listen more than watch over and over night after night all night long.

Beauty of music and quiet voices seeking gave peace to my spirit.
 
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Funny you should ask.

Earlier today I rewatched I’ll Push You.

Came across this thread.

Watching The Way right now.
I loved "I'll Push you"...their friendship was very special indeed.
Glad you were motivated to watch "The Way" today. I'm sure many of us will be digging out the dvd or streaming it again in the next few days.
 
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Hola & G'Day Jenny. Never mind how many pilgrims have been inspired by that film. Your post has inspired nearly 40 responses - so take a bow my friend.
As for how many pilgrims the film inspired will, I agree, never be really known. But a look at the increased numbers of Americans from 2009 to 2011 and 2012 may be a testament to its influence.
For myself my knowledge of the Camino precedes the movie by 6 or 7 years, Australian Tony Kevin's 2006 biography of his walk from Granada to Santiago revived memories of a mention in a TV show 25 years previously. But The Way certainly did spur me to action starting in 2013 by attempting the Via de la Plata and two completions of the Frances in 2015 and 2017. Hopefully 2023 will allow me to walk part of the VDLP and the Porto. Cheers
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Love The Way. Watch it several times a year when I am longing for the Camino, but also love to watch 6 Ways to Santiago several times a year and I'll Push You. We also have Flip Floppin on the Camino which is good for a Sunday afternoon. Have also liked Phil's Camino and the Camino voyage by rowing boat ( can't remember that one's name, sorry). Basically try to watch any new Camino movie. Some better than others, but The Way is the one that made us decide to make our first Camino. We watched in 2014 and finally walked in 2016 and have been back every year but 2020 to walk and serve as hospitaleros! Don't care if it is real. Just love that the son was going to do it and that the father felt compelled to do it after his death.
 
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longwayhome

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Time of past OR future Camino
SJpdP to Santiago ( Sept-Oct 2018)
How many Forum members have watched the movie, ‘The Way’ at least once? … More than we’ll ever know.

How many Forum members have visited some of the locations featured in the movie? … More than we’ll ever know.

And how many Forum members who have met, or know of a pilgrim, inspired by Tom in ‘The Way’, carried the ashes of a loved one and scattered those ashes in meaningful places along the various caminos? … More than we’ll ever know.

One pilgrim who had watched the movie and who had been inspired by Tom and scattered the ashes of a loved one was the Australian author and publisher, Jen Hutchison.

Last month I read about her death from cancer, aged 67, in one of our national newspapers here in Australia. Gone too soon.

The article, in part, stated that after her son Raif’s death ten years ago, Jen decided to walk the ancient pathways of the Camino de Santiago with some of Raif’s ashes, journaling along the way. Once home, Jen wrote a poignant memoir of that life-saving walk and her growing adjustment to life without him. The book is called ‘Motherling - a walk’. It was published in 2019.

I ordered the book, read it and absolutely loved it. It’s beautifully written. Jen shared her grief - not in a ‘feel sorry for me’ way but in an open and pragmatic way. There was a lot of laughter and delightful moments in the book which Jen shared with the reader. I think a lot of the feelings Martin Sheen felt in his portrayal of Tom were shared by Jen as she walked and scattered Raif’s ashes. She was inspired by Tom’s character to scatter Raif’s ashes for a similar reason - Raif had wanted to walk the Camino with a couple of friends but his work circumstances at the time prevented him from doing so, so he never fulfilled his dream.

Since reading the book I’ve pondered a lot if Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez could have realised at the outset what an enduring effect their movie would have on those who have viewed it.

I think it’s more than they’ll ever know.

Buen Camino everyone -

Jenny
Thank you Jenny . I will look up her memoir. It is poignant to consider “ The Way” as a fictional pilgrimage resonating with true lived experiences.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Love The Way. Watch it several times a year when I am longing for the Camino, but also love to watch 6 Ways to Santiago several times a year
I think its a bit funny but Six Ways has deterred some from walking the camino. Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago was being filmed at about the same time. Before walking our own camino, Peg and I saw the documentary in a theater when the director was doing a tour. Before showing the film she asked the audience for a show of hands of those who were thinking of walking the camino. After the showing she asked again saying that sometimes there were more hands up and sometimes less.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2013
How many Forum members have watched the movie, ‘The Way’ at least once? … More than we’ll ever know.

How many Forum members have visited some of the locations featured in the movie? … More than we’ll ever know.

And how many Forum members who have met, or know of a pilgrim, inspired by Tom in ‘The Way’, carried the ashes of a loved one and scattered those ashes in meaningful places along the various caminos? … More than we’ll ever know.

One pilgrim who had watched the movie and who had been inspired by Tom and scattered the ashes of a loved one was the Australian author and publisher, Jen Hutchison.

Last month I read about her death from cancer, aged 67, in one of our national newspapers here in Australia. Gone too soon.

The article, in part, stated that after her son Raif’s death ten years ago, Jen decided to walk the ancient pathways of the Camino de Santiago with some of Raif’s ashes, journaling along the way. Once home, Jen wrote a poignant memoir of that life-saving walk and her growing adjustment to life without him. The book is called ‘Motherling - a walk’. It was published in 2019.

I ordered the book, read it and absolutely loved it. It’s beautifully written. Jen shared her grief - not in a ‘feel sorry for me’ way but in an open and pragmatic way. There was a lot of laughter and delightful moments in the book which Jen shared with the reader. I think a lot of the feelings Martin Sheen felt in his portrayal of Tom were shared by Jen as she walked and scattered Raif’s ashes. She was inspired by Tom’s character to scatter Raif’s ashes for a similar reason - Raif had wanted to walk the Camino with a couple of friends but his work circumstances at the time prevented him from doing so, so he never fulfilled his dream.

Since reading the book I’ve pondered a lot if Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez could have realised at the outset what an enduring effect their movie would have on those who have viewed it.

I think it’s more than they’ll ever know.

Buen Camino everyone -

Jenny
I recall telling my hubby that I was gonna walk the Camino and he had no idea what I was talking about so we watched The Way. At the end of the movie he turned to me and said he wanted to join. I was astounded but we took our first Camino in 2013 and it was an amazing experience!
 

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Shawn Herron

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Podiensis + Camino Frances (2015)
Thanks for sharing! Yes, I definitely saw the movie before I walked my Camino. While I liked the movie, I didn’t really feel connected to it until after I walked the pilgrimage myself, and saw many of the same landscapes in person. I can remember at least a dozen conversations I had with pilgrims, all centered around this movie. Anyone else have a similar experience?
 

Shawn Herron

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Podiensis + Camino Frances (2015)
I think I saw "The Way" shortly after it came out, and I watched it several times since. It absolutely was my inspiration to walk the Camino. Many years passed before I was able to go (May, 2022), but that movie definitely set me on the path to getting there. I have recommended it many times to others who have even an inkling of walking the Camino. Unfortunately, it seems to be hard to find these days.
Agreed, I occasionally search for The Way on Cable, Netflix, and Amazon P, and can never find it available. I guess I could always purchase the DVD, but I’m disappointed that people just can’t simply stream it if they haven’t seen it before. Up until a few years ago, it was more accessible.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I think its a bit funny but Six Ways has deterred some from walking the camino. Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago was being filmed at about the same time. Before walking our own camino, Peg and I saw the documentary in a theater when the director was doing a tour. Before showing the film she asked the audience for a show of hands of those who were thinking of walking the camino. After the showing she asked again saying that sometimes there were more hands up and sometimes less.
Interesting. Six Ways does show people with injuries and struggles. Martin Sheen and his crew don't mention blisters or tendinitis at all...
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Six Ways does show people with injuries and struggles.
It's been eight years since I saw the film and five since viewing the DVD but I remember the woman that had so many problems having them from day one from SJPdP in the film and having these day one problems being cut in the DVD.
 
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Shawn Herron

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Podiensis + Camino Frances (2015)
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I think that those who learned of the Caminos through seeing the film often have a different and more positive view of the movie from those of us who first found the Caminos in other ways. A cause for gratitude and affection. I have watched it a couple of times and found it modestly entertaining but it has no special significance for me. I can't see why people get so worked up about the geographical anomalies - it is a work of fiction not Holy Writ :) But I can testify to the depth of feeling which some hold for the movie. One day in Melide an avid devotee angrily told me I should be grateful for the film because without it neither I nor any of the score of other pilgrims in sight would ever have discovered the Caminos. He walked off without answering when I asked how a 2010 movie could have inspired my 1990 pilgrimage.
Interesting post. May I offer a thought ? You stated, in part, " has no special significance for me. " My thought is that, God works in many ways and speaks to us in many ways this movie may just be one of those ways.
 

Matthew_SWilson

Matthew S. Wilson - Author
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept/Oct 2010
Thanks for the book recommendation, Jenny. Motherling sounds incredibly moving, I've just ordered it. Very sad to hear of its author's recent passing - Jen Hutchison was from Melbourne too. As for the film The Way, I agree its legacy is profound. I still recall walking the Camino Frances in 2010. Many locals spoke about an upcoming film set on the Camino and the albergues were awash with stories of sightings of Martin Sheen walking through Burgos with a pack upon his pack.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
It was 2008 when Scott stood on the headland at Finistere and said "Carry me here when I die." He wasn't the first as for centuries this route has had a connection with memorialising the dead. The 2010 film tells the story of the many of us who grapple with the unexpected death of a loved one and our need to make sence of it all.

In undertaking a Camino we are asked to reflect on our place in the world as we literally follow in the footsteps of others, it's what marks it out as a special walk. It's why 10 years after his request I forefilled it.
 
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Nick B

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
When a person considers how much garbage is made by Hollywood along with moronic TV shows and Netflix so called "entertaining movies" a drama such as The Way free of violence, killing, predictable sex scenes, explosions, war jingoism, special effects, continual swearing, love stories, political agendas, repeats(how many times can they do Batman ?) I would find it bizarre that people disliked the movie but each to their own.

I've recommended it to many people and yet to have anyone say they hated it, although fiction the friendships developed in the movie are quite similar to what occurs on the Camino. People from all over the world connect at times and become life long friends, it can also change many people's perspective and priorities on life as was shown with Tom deciding to walk and the final shot of him walking through the market supposedly in Morrocco.

Many people have posted here how the Camino changed their lives, can only assume for the better.

The reality is that most of us live daily lives of drudgery, our economic system has brainwashed us over the course of our lives to live that way. Any movie that makes you stop and think about your own life and possibly make some changes is a massive positive influence, can't imagine any person being impacted similarly by Batman Remake, Top Gun 2, The Crown, Thor or another WW2 movie.

I saw both Emilio and Martin interviewed about the movie and Emilio stated himself that "Hollywood make a lot of crap, as they've been in some of them". Martin laughed and shook his head at his son's comment knowing they've both been paid well to make the crap. Emilio also said that he didn't want to make a movie where there was killing, he was sick of all the killing in movies and he has a point.

In my opinion they did a great job with the Way, it's inspired many people and brought many more Pilgrims to the Camino than would have otherwise benefiting both the individuals walking the Way and tourism industry of Spain. Not a bad thing for all parties I would have thought.
 

lalaone

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2007
The book sounds great. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I just bought a digital copy; look forward to the read. For anyone who has Amazon’s “Kindle Unlimited” – I noticed this book it is free on there right now (in the US at least).
 

mattythedog

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
How many Forum members have watched the movie, ‘The Way’ at least once? … More than we’ll ever know.

How many Forum members have visited some of the locations featured in the movie? … More than we’ll ever know.

And how many Forum members who have met, or know of a pilgrim, inspired by Tom in ‘The Way’, carried the ashes of a loved one and scattered those ashes in meaningful places along the various caminos? … More than we’ll ever know.

One pilgrim who had watched the movie and who had been inspired by Tom and scattered the ashes of a loved one was the Australian author and publisher, Jen Hutchison.

Last month I read about her death from cancer, aged 67, in one of our national newspapers here in Australia. Gone too soon.

The article, in part, stated that after her son Raif’s death ten years ago, Jen decided to walk the ancient pathways of the Camino de Santiago with some of Raif’s ashes, journaling along the way. Once home, Jen wrote a poignant memoir of that life-saving walk and her growing adjustment to life without him. The book is called ‘Motherling - a walk’. It was published in 2019.

I ordered the book, read it and absolutely loved it. It’s beautifully written. Jen shared her grief - not in a ‘feel sorry for me’ way but in an open and pragmatic way. There was a lot of laughter and delightful moments in the book which Jen shared with the reader. I think a lot of the feelings Martin Sheen felt in his portrayal of Tom were shared by Jen as she walked and scattered Raif’s ashes. She was inspired by Tom’s character to scatter Raif’s ashes for a similar reason - Raif had wanted to walk the Camino with a couple of friends but his work circumstances at the time prevented him from doing so, so he never fulfilled his dream.

Since reading the book I’ve pondered a lot if Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez could have realised at the outset what an enduring effect their movie would have on those who have viewed it.

I think it’s more than they’ll ever know.

Buen Camino everyone -

Jenny
I am one of the many thousands who have walked/biked the Camino because of THE WAY, 8 times now, and I am forever indebted to Martin Sheen and Emilio Esteves. Although the movie is fiction, many parts were based on the experiences of Jack Hitt's pilgrimage in his book, Off the Road. I personally have experienced or know pilgrims who have experienced nearly every situation in the movie. Took my Goddaughter's ashes from St. Jean to Muxia last year. I never got blisters, but 2 police officers came to take me to jail late one night--I talked them out of it. My friends and I have been in numerous additional incredible situations most would call movie fiction. It's why we keep going back.
 
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JohnLloyd

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés (2018), Português (2019), Inglés (2022)
I am one of the many thousands who have walked/biked the Camino because of THE WAY, 8 times now, and I am forever indebted to Martin Sheen and Emilio Esteves. Although the movie is fiction, many parts were based on the experiences of Jack Hitt's pilgrimage in his book, Off the Road. I personally have experienced or know pilgrims who have experienced nearly every situation in the movie. Took my Goddaughter's ashes from St. Jean to Muxia last year. I never got blisters, but 2 police officers came to take me to jail late one night--I talked them out of it. My friends and I have been in numerous additional incredible situations most would call movie fiction. It's why we keep going back.
I think you should write a book!
 

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