Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago one night only in Nevada City
For many centuries, people have traveled to northern Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago as a pilgrimage for personal development and spiritual self-enlightenment. It is no small undertaking and yet in 2010 alone, more than 270,000 people attempted this arduous 500-mile trek across beautiful and rugged terrain.
“Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago,” the extraordinary, award-winning documentary film by American director and producer Lydia B. Smith, may have you thinking about going on this pilgrimage yourself. It will be shown one night only in Nevada City, 7 p.m. Sunday, at the Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad St.
This nonprofit documentary, which raised just under $500,000 from private donors over the course of five years, has managed to make its way onto the list of top 10 documentaries of 2014 with just a small committed staff and dozens of volunteers.
It is an insanely ambitious, independently produced film takes an in-depth, close up look at a group of people who completed the journey, each with their own reasons, motivations, and expectations, equipped with only a backpack, a pair of boots, and an open mind.
“Walking the Camino” is a total immersion experience that captures the trials and tribulations associated with a group of modern pilgrims who decide to walk the ancient path, the Camino de Santiago. The cast of people featured in the film run the gamut of ages (from age 3 to 73), as well as nationalities, religious backgrounds and experiences on the Camino.
Annie from Los Angeles, who, with a typical can-do attitude, was called to do the Camino for spiritual reasons. She soon comes face-to-face with her own innate competitiveness, especially when the Camino’s intense physical challenge starts to take its toll on her.
Jack and Wayne are two well-traveled Canadian retirees. Wayne, 65, is a recent widower who walks to honor his wife, and Jack, 73, is an Episcopal priest who performed the funeral for Wayne’s wife.
Jack always wanted to walk the Camino due to his interest in history. Wayne loves the “one-way” nature of the Camino, which represents leaving his past and walking toward his future.
Misa is a health and sports student from Denmark who considers herself to be spiritual but not religious. She sets out to travel alone to become more connected with herself, but when she meets William, the only other pilgrim that can keep up with her notoriously fast pace, her intentions get pushed aside.
Sam is a Brazilian woman in her 30s who was desperate for some force to turn her unhappy life around. Sam left behind everything she knew in Rio de Janeiro, purged her life of nearly all possessions, and fled with a one-way ticket to Spain.
Even though she suffered from clinical depression, she decides to throw away all of her prescribed medication, trusting that the Camino — the meditative act of walking, the nature, and the people met along the way — will restore balance to her body’s chemistry.
Tomás, 30-something, athletic and very charming, was torn between kite-boarding on the coast or “hiking” the Camino. He chose the Camino because it was more of a physical challenge.
He gets what he asks for, as his biggest challenge becomes the immense physical pain that he experiences. He must learn to persevere as the struggle to complete the Camino becomes more painful with every step.
Tatiana is a French 26-year-old single mother who sets out for the Camino because of her devotion to God.
She brings her brother Alexis and three-year-old son along with her on the trek.
Originally, Tatiana was delighted to have her brother with her on the Camino, especially for sharing the responsibility of her son.
Things quickly become challenging for her, however, as Tatiana and Alexis begin to argue at every turn.
Her quest to seek a richer relationship with God is tested as she is forced to face the problems in the relationship with her brother.
The documentary is expertly produced and inspiring. In the spring of 2008, Lydia B. Smith walked the Camino herself. The effects it had on her were truly life-changing.
The star of the film, the Camino itself, is showcased with elegant cinematography that captures and depicts the gorgeous scenery and breathtaking vistas, from the raindrops on leaves to the fields of grass, mist-covered mountains, colorful sunsets and truly inviting local people and historic surroundings.
The film captures the personalities and inner challenges of the pilgrims and their transformations along the journey.
You get to experience the drive, questions, the pain, the joys, and the revelations that these modern-day pilgrims find along the way.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User