As a pilgrim who has walked Camino de Santiago from St. Jean to Finisterre, I take every chance I can get to relive the Camino vicariously through the documentation of others. It was a YouTube documentary back in 2011 that lit the spark which would lead me to walking The Way one year later. I also wanted to share my experience to help fellow walkers, and produced a Camino documentary of my own upon returning home. In 2012, there was a large increase in walkers from the United States as the movie The Way was released to much acclaim. Since then, the public awareness surrounding the Camino has been growing steadily, and as of today my YouTube documentary has been viewed more than 50,000 times, with 17,000 of those coming from the US!
Given my desire to relive my spectacular month spent walking through Spain, it goes without saying I was thrilled to see Walking The Camino: Six Ways To Santiago showing at my local theater. I’ve seen a great deal written about this documentary on the Camino forum, but as it’s been showing as special engagements only, never had the chance to see it in person. At 11:00 AM on Sunday, I finally had my chance, and it was well worth the wait.
This documentary focuses on the stories of six main pilgrims as they journey from St. Jean to Santiago and Finisterre. As many pilgrims will tell you, the Camino is a wonderful place, where the jaw dropping beauty of the landscape can only be matched by the beauty and warmth of the people you meet. That being said, this film provided a great deal of nostalgic eye candy that brought me back to all of my favorite landscapes, towns, chapels, and albergues.
My favorite character of the six was Tatiana. She is a 26 year old French woman walking the Camino with her 3 year old son and free spirit brother. It was interesting to see the dynamic between the two siblings shift as the miles started to add up. Things started out peachy enough, but her brother’s old ways started to wear her down as things progressed.
Tomás is 30 something Portuguese, and of all the pilgrims shown in this film, is the “type” I remember most fondly. At so many restaurants and cafes along the way, pilgrims kick back, have a coffee or beer, and enjoy each others company. The laughing and story telling that was shown through his view brought back a lot of good memories.
The great thing about this documentary is that the characters have a little something for everyone. The producer did a good job of selecting pilgrims from different walks of life who were walking for different reasons. This is great because it will make the Camino relatable to newcomers looking to walk, and offer great memories and feelings of deja vu to those who have already made their way to Santiago.
If you have the chance to see this film, I would highly recommend you do so. If it won’t be showing in your area, you can now pick up a copy of the DVD!