Sopris Sun Staff Report
The Crystal Theatre presents the award winning documentary “Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago” at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 17-21.
“It (the film) shows the full range of the Camino experience: the internal thoughts, the spiritual insights, the physical strains, the solace of nature, the weather, the new friends made, and the sharing with others of all ages and from all countries,” said blogger Jack Karolewski. “In many aspects, I enjoyed this documentary a little bit more than the commendable Camino film ‘The Way.’”
In 2013, “Walking the Camino,” whose assistant editor was Glenwood Springs native Andrew Zabel, won Best Documentary honors at the Hollywood Film Festival and other festivals, and was also recognized at The Newport Beach Film Festival (Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Film Making), the American Documentary Film Festival (Audience Favorite Award) and Prescott Film Festival (Audience Choice Award).
The Camino de Santiago is a 1,200-year-old pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain, the claimed burial place of St. James. Since the ninth century, millions of world travelers have embarked on an epic pilgrimage across northern Spain that is said to be profoundly enlightening, spiritually nourishing and physically challenging.
There are several routes but the most widely traveled is the Camino Francés, which extends 500 miles across northern Spain, beginning at the French border in the Pyrenees. While the pilgrimage is traditionally a Catholic one, people walk the route for a range of reasons, from spiritual to desire for adventure.
Today, several hundred thousand people a year embark on this mostly unpaved path with little more than a backpack and a pair of boots. From January to September 2014, a total of 208,007 pilgrims arrived in Santiago from the various routes of the Camino.
“Walking the Camino” follows a diverse group of pilgrims, ages 3 to 73, from all over the world as they attempt to cross an entire country on foot with only a backpack, a pair of boots and an open mind. The trekkers cope with blisters, exhaustion, loneliness and self-doubt, but at the end they say they have triumphed over fears and prejudices that had become roadblocks to living a fulfilled life.
Martin Sheen, who stars in the Camino film “The Way” calls this documentary “brilliant.”
The film, by director/producer Lydia B. Smith and produced by Future Educational Films, was a grassroots effort and was funded in large part by individual donations totaling more than $500,000, according to a press release.
As for the Roaring Fork Valley’s Andrew Zabel, he currently lives in Portland, Oregon, where the film was produced. He works as a freelance digital graphic designer.