I saw this film listed on Netflix a few weeks ago, and thought it would be worth watching at some point. However, I thought it might be slightly boring for my boyfriend to watch – it’s the story of a father who decides to travel “El camino de Santiago” after his estranged son dies on the pilgrimage. We decided to watch it this week, and were pleasantly surprised.
It was one of those productions that elevates you to a heightened level of human experience; to that “lightness of being” that Tolstoy and Milan Kundera mention. It’s also surprisingly calming to watch people walk. There’s a lot of good acting involved, with Martin Sheen and James Nesbitt starring. I only just realised that Emilio Estevez, who plays Daniel, is Martin Sheen’s son – and therefore Charlie Sheen’s brother – both on and off the production of this film. If that makes sense. Our favourite character was Joost, the Dutchman, played by Yorick van Wageningen. He’s very charismatic and friendly in this role, unlike when he played Nils Bjurman in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Putting one foot in from of the other is very meditative. The contact between your feet and the earth, over and over, forms a connection or energy of sorts. Add a beautiful view to this and your mind and soul will soon feel refreshed. Walking is so simple, and simple is how it should be. You put one foot in front of the other, and prevent the experience from being blemished by anxiety, preoccupations or intention. You just walk.
Perhaps one day I’ll do the same pilgrimage, or part of it. I remember it was something that my school Spanish teacher wanted to do – I wonder if she has yet. I know that she’s given up teaching to go and live in Spain, which I’m happy she’s done. Teaching kids in my school was a nightmare, and so perhaps she’s in need of a pilgrimage.