Movies focused on enlightenment have made an impact via the big screen; widely adding to and highlighting the real life focus on self-care and self-discovery that more and more people are adopting and exploring. On many people’s bucket list is this: embark on the 1,000-year-old, 500-mile-plus Camino de Santiago pilgrimage (the Way of Saint James). The film “The Way”, released in 2011, following one man’s journey on the Camino de Santiago has inspired even more Americans to make the journey to walk the Camino and embark on their own adventures focused on “self”. The trailer of the film says, “On life’s journey everyone loses their way, but some of us find the courage to start again.” “The Way” has certainly impacted many and is currently available on CHILI for viewing.
“The Way” follows the journey of a father named Tom, played by Martin Sheen, who is an emotionally withdrawn ophthalmologist in California. In addition to writing and directing the film, Emilio Estevez plays Daniel, Tom’s son, who quit grad school in order to travel the world and has a very different outlook on life than his father. Soon after starting his journey on the Camino de Santiago, Daniel is in a freak accident and tragically gets caught in a snowstorm in the Pyrenees Mountains of France. After flying to Spain and identifying his son’s body, despite his age and current shape, Tom continues on with his son’s pilgrimage.
For thousands of years, people have walked the Camino de Santiago for unique reasons, from cultural immersion, pure adventure, spiritual exploration, journey to repentance, etc. This movie is so inspirational as you witness Tom physically and metaphorically walk in his son’s shoes, physically challenging himself and slowly opening up to other people. The self-realization of Tom as well as the soul-searching of he and his travel companions, set on this beautiful backdrop of the Spanish countryside will make you want to go on a journey like this yourself. In an interview, Sheen explains, “We must surrender ourselves to our brokenness. That’s the beginning of community, and that’s what this film is about.”
For whichever purposes drive your own desire for a journey as such, “The Way” will add and encourage you to dare to dream and inspire you to embark on a new adventure focused on self-discovery. The best part is, you don’t have to walk the Camino de Santiago to do so, but it can, of course, be a unique experience to add to your own journey. Ralph Waldo Emerson supports this sentiment, as he once said, “Our minds travel when our bodies are forced to stay at home.” For those who look to the outside, Chesterton explained, “Travel narrows the mind… to travel is to leave the inside and to draw dangerously near the outside.”
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While watching movies, we experience a lot of emotions, from happiness to nostalgia, depending on what movie we are enjoying....