Watching Walking the Camino, I was reminded of George Carlin expressing his frustration about the existence of a magazine called Walking: “What are the articles about? Putting one foot in front of the other?” Now we get a documentary about walking, covering the journeys of six strangers from around the world embarking on a 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain. Local director Lydia Smith objectively examines their treks with a tone that’s intensely spiritual but not preachy, and the countryside backdrop is gorgeous. There are some surprises along the way, like a Danish woman who starts the journey strictly to be alone, but ends up in a romantic relationship with a Canadian man 10 years her junior. But Smith has selected subjects whose motivations are mostly mystical, and their New Age lingo—“finding oneself” and “bringing God along for the ride”—becomes wearisome. Some viewers might find that appealing. Others, meanwhile, will be counting down how many kilometers are left to Santiago whenever the Indiana Jones-style maps show up.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Friday, August 30, 2013
- Critic's Score: C+
- Watch the trailer