(PG) Umbrella Entertainment DVD/BD
Directed by Emilio Estevez and starring his father Martin Sheen (in one of his most moving roles), this film is a very personal spiritual journey of discovery and transformation.
Sheen plays Tom, a California eye doctor with a vision problem when it comes to son Daniel (Estevez, seen in flashbacks), who has dropped out of grad school to undertake a walking journey along the Pyrenees (known variously as the Camino de Santiago or the Way of St James).
When Daniel is killed by a freak storm before reaching Spain, Tom flies to France, where a friendly police captain (Tchéky Karyo) conveniently recounts the history of the ancient pilgrim’s route. The quiet and grief-stricken father gathers his son’s ashes, as well as his backpack, and spontaneously decides to finish the tour for reasons he can’t quite articulate.
On the journey Tom is joined by three pilgrims, all travelling for different reasons and whose motivations are revealed slowly as they travail the winding track.
It is obvious it is a gift from son (director Estevez) to father (Sheen). This isn’t an action film. It’s a wonderfully quiet reflection on the meaning of life’s journey; a truly transformational and moving experience and a journey worth taking. Highly recommended for fathers and sons.