Camino de Santiago Movie: The Way, Starring Martin Sheen

The Way starring Martin Sheen
The Way starring Martin Sheen

Camino de Santiago Movie: The Way, Starring Martin Sheen

"A soulful and cinematic journey" 

While the Camino de Santiago was already a world famous pilgrimage before The Way movie came out, the movie certainly helped the Camino de Santiago become a household name. Starring Martin Sheen and directed by his son, Emilio Estevez, for a lot of pilgrims along the Camino it was this film that was the inspiration.

While there's definitely an element of 'Hollywood' about the film (it's definitely not a documentary!), it is surprising that so many of the meaningful moments, e.g. the moving self discovery, the forming of unlikely friendships, the tough sections of the trail leading to fond memories; are actually common experiences felt by all those who walk the Camino de Santiago.
> Walk the Full Spanish Camino (the route they take in the film)
Pilgrim's on the way to Santiago in Spain |  <i>Guillermo Gavilla</i>

The Way 2: The Next Chapter (Sequel Update!)

As translated from Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia: 
"'Emilio Estévez: "''The Way'' has moved so many people that a sequel had to be made".
The father of the actor and director, Martin Sheen, also stars in the second part of the film, which will be shot in the fall [autumn].

The Way, the film about the Camino de Santiago directed by Emilio Estévez, with his father, Martin Sheen, as the protagonist, returns to North American cinemas: it can be seen this Tuesday in more than 800 theatres throughout the country.  A re-run that is quite a milestone for a film more than ten years old.  

A second life that is going to be extended even more with the filming of a sequel.  Estévez explains from his house in California that he should be in Compostela right now for the pre-production of the feature film, but that he has stayed to support the promotion of The Way's return to the big screen.

The sequel takes place in Nigeria, Brussels, Dublin, Amsterdam and along the Northern Camino.  It's a more international film, but the destination is still the Camino, and that's where a good part of the film takes place'."
The Way with Martin Sheen

The Way Movie Synopsis

Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. 
Driven by his profound sadness and desire to understand his son better, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage, leaving his "California bubble life" behind. Armed with his son's backpack and guidebook, Tom navigates the 800 km pilgrimage from the French Pyrenees, to Santiago de Compostela in the north west of Spain, but soon discovers that he will not be alone on this journey. 
While walking The Camino, Tom meets other pilgrims from around the world, all broken and looking for greater meaning in their lives: a Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen) a Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) and an Irish writer (James Nesbitt) who is suffering from a bout of "writer's block." 
From the hardship experienced along "The Way" this unlikely quartet of misfits create an everlasting bond and Tom begins to learn what it means to be a citizen of the world again, and discovers the difference between "The life we live and the life we choose". The Way movie was filmed entirely in Spain and France along the actual Camino de Santiago.

The Way Movie Trailer


Watch The Way Movie

If you would like to watch The Way movie, you'll be able to find a digital copy on Amazon or Apple iTunes. 
If you're in Australia you can watch The Way for free on SBS On Demand.

Walk the Camino de Santiago

UTracks offers a comprehensive range of Camino trips. Whether walking or cycling, self-guided or guided, luxurious or short trips, you'll find an unforgettable Camino experience. 
> Walk the Full Spanish Camino (the route they take in the film)

Have you seen The Way? What did you think? Does it inspire you to walk the Camino de Santiago? Let us know in the comments below.
Camino, Camino de Santiago, Spain, Martin Sheen, The Way, Movie, The Way 2, The Way 2 The Next Chapter, The Way Sequel

Comments (2)

Bobbi Mundell

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I never knew The Camino even existed. It wasn't until my junior or senior year in college (located in St. Augustine, Florida, the nation's oldest city first settled by the Spaniards), that I learned about it in one of my classes. I started out as an accounting major, but ended up taking a Spanish language class and fell in love with the language and all things Spanish. I took on Spanish as a second major, and graduated with dual majors in Business Administration and Spanish. I worked for a financial firm for a number of years servicing our Hispanic clients. After the birth of my first baby, I left the firm and became a stay at home mom. I'm sure this is probably more information than you care to know, but I want to demonstrate how all of these experiences converged to mold me into the person I've become and how it's lead me to something I feel very passionate about.
Once my daughter started school, I "fell into" a teaching position at a middle school teaching both math and Spanish. It was during this period I stumbled upon the movie "The Way." I ended up watching it so many times because each time I watched it, I'd take away something different I hadn't realized the previous time I watched it. I guess you could say the movie had a transforming effect on my life. I felt incredibly inspired by the movie and became so passionate about "El Camino de Santiago" that I dove deeper into the history of it and created a unit for my middle school Spanish classes. At the end of the unit, I've shown "The Way" as a culminating activity (with edits). My kids have all loved it. Now I'm teaching high school and showing it again in my classroom. Throughout the years, my teaching unit has transformed and each time I teach it, it feels like I'm doing it for the first time. The movie has given me so much valuable insight, knowledge and motivation to break out of society's "chains" and live---really and truly live my life. The movie does an excellent job capturing the essence of the Basque people and showcasing the rich culture of Northern Spain. Every time I watch this movie, I feel more and more motivated to walk The Camino. I never make it through without my eyes welling up with tears because it evokes such an emotional response. Some of my favorite scenes are El Alto del Perdon and one of the most beautiful quotes I've ever heard, "Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas". I love the scene of the gentleman who offers his home as a place of refuge to peregrinos hiking The Camino and the fellowship enjoyed by peoples of different ethnicities around the large outdoor table (this is very typical in Spain). The scene at La Cruz de Ferro gets me every time as the characters in the movie leave their stones at the foot of the cross to unload their burdens. The scene at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela never ceases to amaze me as I'm astonished by its grandeur. The comradery shared by peregrinos on the way is a testament to how people should treat one another. I truly can say this movie is the best I've ever seen, and motivates me to hike El Camino Frances. The Camino is calling, and I must go!

2 years ago

Wow Bobbi - we can feel your passion for Spain through your writing! This comment deserves its own article to inspire others to watch The Way film and to experience the Camino.

We're also here to help you answer the call of the Camino, so please get in touch with our team at [email protected] for further information.

2 years ago
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