Martin Sheen and Galicia's Way of St. James

In November 2010 a Martin Sheen starring film about the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of Saint James, was released. The film, simply called "The Way", was filmed in Galicia and is a great advert for the beauty of this scenic and little visited area.

I watched this film on January 1st 2012 and I have posted my thoughts on it here The Way - Movie review .

The movie is directed by Sheen's son Emilio Estevez and tells the story of an American doctor who walks the famous pilgrim's route in memory of his son who died in an accident whilst walking his own Camino.

For Sheen, whose father was an American immigrant from Galicia, the experience was described as "a return home" and it is one of his hopes that the film increases tourism to this green and beautiful part of Spain.

The film's original premier was, not surprisingly, in Galicia, but it has since been on world wide release and will come out on DVD, Blu-ray and other movie formats in 2011.

Not surprisingly the film was no Hollywood blockbuster, but it has received a more than reasonable reception and it should act as a good taster for anyone considering a visit to Galicia.

Emilio Estevez pointed out that, he did not want the film to fall into the typical Spanish stereotypes and that they wanted to show the lush greenness of the area and its appeal to walkers. The general consensus of opinion seems to be that he succeeded.

So, I you are considering taking a holiday in Galicia, one way to see if this part of Spain meets your requirements is to buy or rent "The Way" (once it is released).

Naturally the movie shows Galicia from one perspective, namely that of a Camino pilgrim However, it does offer a real feel of the region and why it is so different from the more familiar southern provinces of Spain.

It is also nice to see Galicia hitting the big screen on an international stage since most of the films made in the region tend to be for Spanish consumption only.

Other Galician movies

Another great film set in Galicia, and one that is occasionally shown in the UK and USA, is "Mar adentro" (English title - The Sea Inside) (made in 2004). This movie tells the true story of a young man who is paralized in an accident when aged only twenty five and who fights for the right to end his life. The setting is in Boiro and Porto do Son and it is a deep and morally challenging story with what may, depending upon your perspective, be a happy or a sad conclusion.,br clear=right>

Two other films that I know about that were made and set in Galicia are "Lena" (2001) and "A los que aman" (1998), although I have seen neither of them.

The Sea Inside

A third movie, called The Sea Inside (English title), is an incredible true story about a man's fight to end his life after a terrible accident when he was younger.

The central character, Ramon Sampedro, was paralised while diving in to the sea as a boy and the story looks at both his leagl and domestic struggle to attain acceptance for his right to euthanasia. This movie is periodically screened on TV in the UK and is definately worth watching. Do be aware that there is no happy ending for anyone involved.

Right, a monument to Ramon Sampedro at the beach where his terrible accident took place. He lived and died in the town of Boiro.

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