Make yourself comfortable, make a bowl of popcorn and get ready to hit the trail with some of the best films about the Camino de Santiago!
If you’ve landed here, you’re probably planning to go on the Camino? Perhaps it is on your bucket list and you are still in the dreaming phase. Or maybe you’re just curious to know more about this famous pilgrimage that your friends keep talking about? Whatever your reasons, here are some of our favourite movies about the Camino de Santiago to get you feeling inspired!
There Loads of Movies About the Camino
The unparalleled scenery, the morning mist on the rolling hills, the rich history, the characters you meet along the way and the abundance of local legends. It’s not surprising that so many Camino stories have appeared on the big screen (and the small screen) both in Hollywood blockbuster classics and gripping independent documentaries.
The Camino itself is so dramatic that it’s like something straight out of a movie. Every walk follows a structure similar to a plot too. There is the start, the introductions, meeting new people, and understanding yourself as the main character in your Camino story. Then as you walk, you will come across other characters, face difficulties, overcome challenges, and find inner dialogues. Finally, you will feel the Camino coming to an end. Your struggles will have been worth it, your efforts are rewarded, and everyone arrives in Santiago with new stories to tell.
It’s tough to encapsulate what the different Camino routes to Santiago de Compostela have meant to millions of pilgrims in its thousand-year history, but these films give a beautiful snapshot of different elements of the Way of St James. They capture the spiritual significance and the rich history of the iconic pilgrimage, which is the reason why over 300,000 people from all walks of life embark on the journey each year.
Let’s go straight ahead to our top ten films about the Camino de Santiago!
Top 10 Films About The Camino De Santiago
- 1. Martin Sheen Movie The Way (2010)
- 2. Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago (2013)
- 3. Footprints: The Path of Your Life (2016)
- 4. Road to Santiago (El final del Camino) (2009)
- 5. St. Jacques… La Mecque (2005)
- 6. Looking For Infinity: El Camino (2017)
- 7. O Apostolo (The Apostle) (2012)
- 8. I’ll Push You (2016)
- 9. Phil’s Camino (2016)
- 10. Camino, The Journey to Santiago (2012)
Martin Sheen Movie – The Way (2010)
123 min | Comedy, Drama | Directed by Emilio Estevez
Starring: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick van Wageningen
There’s no doubt The Way is the most well-known film about the Camino de Santiago. This movie is an original film directed, written and produced by American actor Emilio Estevez, and starring his real-life father, Martin Sheen.
When Daniel chooses to walk on the French Way (Camino Frances) but is subsequently killed in the Pyrenees, his father travels to St Jean Pied de Port to pick up the journey where his son left off with his son’s ashes in his backpack. He goes with the aim of gaining a greater understanding of his son but finishes with a greater understanding of himself.
Emilio Estevez said that in making this film, he wanted to honour the tradition of the Camino de Santiago, and promote the pilgrimage to every demographic group.
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Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago (2013)
84 min | Documentary | Directed by Lydia Smith | Starring: Scott Erikson, Rebecca Filmer…
If you want to get a taste of some of the different types of Camino stories along the Way of St James, you must watch Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago. This documentary explores the journey of 6 modern-day pilgrims of different ages, nationalities and backgrounds, and how they experience the Camino in their own way. Facing their fears, worries… they overcome suffering.
These people walk the Camino Frances, embarking on a journey of transformation and self-discovery that won’t let you remain indifferent.
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Footprints: The Path of Your Life (2016)
89 min | Documentary | Directed by Juan Manuel Cotelo | Starring: Sergio Fita, Pedro Gutiérrez
If you’re planning to go on the Camino del Norte and want to learn more about the Camino de Santiago’s historical facts, I’d rather recommend you to watch this inspirational as well as educational documentary.
It explores the journey of a Spanish Roman Catholic priest based in Arizona and 9 young men, from very different backgrounds, who decided to walk the Camino de Santiago together. With a 500-mile journey and 40-day trek, this group’s strength and faith will be challenged. The 10 men walk from the south of France along the less popular Northern Route (Camino del Norte) of the “Camino” to Santiago de Compostela.
When the tiredness, blistered feet and emotions were running very high, some of the guys on the group started to think about giving up, but then they pushed each other to keep going and started to walk as brothers. Along the way, they learnt valuable life lessons about perseverance, brotherhood and spirituality. “In order to succeed, you only need to get up one more time than you fall.”
While they move forward, the exotic beauty along the Northern Way will leave you speechless. The contrast of green mountains and blue sea, grassy fields, the morning mist, pastoral villages, rugged terrain… This film captures the vast north coast of Spain essence, its culture and people.
This film is available on Netflix.
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Road to Santiago (Al Final Del Camino) (2009)
100 min | Romantic Comedy | Directed by Roberto Santiago | Starring: Fernando Tejero, Malena Alterio, Javier Gutiérrez, Diego Peretti
The Spanish film “Al final del Camino” is a romantic comedy directed by Roberto Santiago. It was filmed in Madrid and in the last 153 km of the Camino de Santiago, just at the start of the Galician Way, from Predafita do Cebreiro.
This movie tells the story of Pilar, a journalist, and the photographer Nacho, who are forced to put their hate for each other apart to cover a story on the Camino de Santiago. They have to discover if Olmo, an Argentinian guru of relationships, is a fraudster or not. The self-named guru claims to solve couples’ crises by doing the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, charging a mere €20,000.
On a 6-day adventure across Galicia, Nacho and Pilar experience all types of funny, silly and even romantic situations. The movie explores all of the thrilling dramatic possibilities of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela where it passes through Galicia, including footage of the emblematic Monte do Gozo (hill of joy). How will those antagonists end? Well, you know, anything can happen on the Camino!
St. Jacques… La Mecque (2005)
110 min | Comedy, Drama | Directed by Coline Serreau | Starring: Muriel Robin, Artus de Penguern, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Pascal Légitimus
When their mother dies, she stipulates in her will that her three feuding adult children will inherit her vast fortune – but only if they complete the famous Camino de Santiago as a trio.
In this French film, the estranged siblings reluctantly set out to walk from Puy-en-Velay to Santiago de Compostela and have to learn to work together to reach their destination. In doing so, the two brothers and one sister unite and rekindle their family values.
This warm-hearted comedy was released in 2005 to mixed reviews but has since become a cult classic for pilgrims.
Looking For Infinity: El Camino (2017)
60 min | Documentary | Directed by Aaron Leaman
Looking For Infinity: El Camino is a film of just an hour-long, giving a lesser-seen look at the minds of pilgrims who set off on foot to Santiago. This introspective, beautifully unpolished documentary shows the Camino through the minds and words of real pilgrims.
Many of those pilgrims featured are yearning for meaning in their lives, and to take a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life and technology and reconnect with what is really important – whatever that is. It is a fascinating exploration of some of the timeless questions faced by humanity.
O Apostolo (The Apostle) (2012)
120 min | Comedy, Drama | Directed by Fernando Cortizo | Starring: Carlos Blanco, Xosé Manuel Olveira ‘Pico’, Paul Naschy
An escaped convict returns to a remote village on the Camino de Santiago to recover jewels he hid their years earlier. Once he gets there, he gets a rude awakening when he encounters sinister spirits.
This hauntingly imaginative stop-motion horror masterpiece, by Spanish writer-director Fernando Cortizo, was critically acclaimed upon its release in 2012. The film received numerous awards and nominations, including a nomination for Best Animated Film at the prestigious Goya Awards in Spain.
I’ll Push You (2016)
100 min | Documentary, Adventure, Drama | Directed by Chris Karcher, Terry Parish | Starring: Patrick Gray, Justin Skeesuck, Ted Hardy
“I’ll Push You: A Camino Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair” is a feature-length documentary following two best friends who set out on their 800 km across mountains, valleys, arid lands and swamps. Many have set out on this journey, but none quite like Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray.
Justin suffers from a rare neurological disease that has left him in a wheelchair, and in 2014 he was pushed by his best friend Patrick across northern Spain. This is not just the story of a Camino journey, but an eye-opening look at the struggles faced by Justin on a day-to-day basis, and an inspiring tale of hope, friendship, and perseverance.
Get the tissues, this one is a tear-jerker.
Phil’s Camino (2016)
28 min | Documentary | Directed by Annie O’Neil, Jessica Lewis | Starring: Patrick Gray, Justin Skeesuck, Ted Hardy
This award-winning 28 min film tells the real-life story of Phil Volker, a man in his 60s based in Seattle who dreams of walking the 500-mile ancient pilgrimage route across Spain, the Way of St James. The military veteran, husband, father and outdoorsman, was prevented from doing it so, due to suffering from stage 4 cancer.
This touching story shows how Phil didn’t give up on his dream and re-creates his own 500-mile pathway in the forest behind his house on Vashon Island. Walking was a way for Phil to feel better and to forget about fighting to cure his cancer. It was his way of embracing a kind of spiritual healing and having a new perspective on life.
Phil’s story illustrates the rich moments that times of health crises can bring and how they can bring out the best in you and your loved ones. It reminds us of what is important in life and the importance of keeping hopes high when you feel more under the weather. Don’t allow the circumstances to define your life.
Camino, The Journey to Santiago (2012)
25 min | Documentary, Adventure | Directed by Matthew Nothelfer, Alicia Wszelaki | Starring: Alicia Wszelaki
This short documentary, directed by Matthew Nothelfer and Alicia Wszelaki, enhances the Camino de Santiago’s impressive beauty.
There are no words needed, the images and sounds in the background are more than enough to reveal the modern pilgrim’s experience along the ancient path, the locals they meet along the way, the typical food and culture.
This is the essence of the Camino de Santiago compacted into 25 minutes.
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There are so many more films about the Camino out there if you want to keep watching. From documentaries to dramas to comedies – if there isn’t a movie then there is probably a book!
I hope you find these films useful in your journey to learning more about our beloved Camino de Santiago and the uniqueness of every person’s story along this path. Remember that we’re here to help you plan your Camino your way.
More Camino stories
Once you’ve worked your way through all of those, how about picking up one of our favourite books about the Camino de Santiago or snuggling in to listen to a podcast about the Camino! If you’re trying to inspire your kids to come with you (yes, you can walk the Camino with kids!) then try reading them one of these.
Which ones have we missed?
We hope you love these podcasts as much as we did! If we’ve missed any awesome podcasts about the Camino de Santiago please send us a message and recommend them! You can get in touch by email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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Originally published on 21st October 2019