about the Emilio Estevez film about a father (Martin Sheen)
who completes the "Camino" de Santiago de Campostela on
behalf of his estramged son, who died on the first day of the
journey. I knew I would like it, because of my interest in the
centuries-old pilgrimage. Also because two good friends had
recently completed the journey. (See my blog post of August
17, 2011, "The Real 'Camino.'") What I was not prepared for
was the way the story moved me at a deep level of my being
. I'm not ashamed to say that I wept from the opening scene
to the roll of credits at the end. I hadn't had such an
experience since the last time I saw the stage/musical version
of Les Miserables.
What was it that touch me and created this unexpected
reaction? In no particular order, I'll share the fruit of my
• As a father, the thought of losing an adult child;
• As a believer, contemplation of the mystery of a God who
leads us where we never intended to go and do things we
thought we were either incapable of or disinterested in;
• As a student of Christian history, to be pulled into a
tradition that places one of the twelve apostles in the
outermost frontier of the Roman Empire in the second half
of the first century AD/CE. (Is the tradition historically true?
I don't know. At this point it hardly matters, in light of
spiritual benefits accompanying the Camino.)
• As the person I am today, a sense of physical loss that I am
not in condition to make such a journey on foot, even if I had
a mind to. (Spare me the "You can do anything you want to"
• As a flawed human being, witnessing the opening and
unfolding of a closed, self-centered heart to acceptance of
and acceptance by other imperfect people--fellow travelers
on the camino and on the journey of life.
I'm sure the film touched me in still other ways of which I am
not even aware yet.
Bottom line, I highly recommend this film and look forward
to seeing it a second time myself.
You may be interested in viewing the trailer for this camino-based film at
Alfred J. Garrotto is the author of the suspense novel,