Just saw The Way with Martin Sheen, also starring, produced and directed by his son, Emilio Estevez. It was tops on my list of films to see because of both of them, and because I’ve wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route from France and into Spain to honor St. James the Apostle in Compostello. The scallop shell is the symbol of the pilgrimage.
The Way is a 2010 film just expanding its reach around the country. The territory it covers physically is beautiful, transcendent. The villages and stopping places are each one better than the other, lively, fun, interesting. Most of the people I know who’ve done the Camino did not do it for religious reasons, but were called for many reasons, including honoring themselves by undertaking these 800 kilometers of walking. And so it is in this story of 4 different pilgrims – perigrinos – who are traveling together separately.
The mental and spiritual territory covered by the Camino is different for each one. The bonds of time and space shift with each kilometer’s passing. The stories of the 4 journeyers remain separate, but braid together in healing.
This movie, in retrospect, could also be a text book on how to produce a spiritual film that works. Simply tell the story with truth, beauty, respect. Aaaaahhhhhhmazing.