In their documentary “Camino Skies – Himmel über dem Camino”, which premiered in 2019, they will follow Fergus Grady And the Noel Smith Six fundamentally different people from Australia and New Zealand have one thing in common: a search for meaning and new strength on the Camino de Santiago.
For more than 1,000 years, pilgrims have been using the Camino de Santiago to gain spiritual experience. For some time now, the network of hiking routes that pass through Europe, directed by the Cemetery of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, is experiencing a real boom. The increasingly frenetic and confusing present seems to fuel the desire for a new reversal. The reasons for walking the Camino de Santiago can be very different. Quite a few who decide to tackle the adventure, as one of the priests describes it in the movie, are at a crossroads in their lives or stuck in a personal crisis that they want to learn how to handle on the week-long walk.
The collaborative work of Fergus Grady and Noel Smyth accompanies those who fit this description. The strokes of fate are the mainspring of a trip to a foreign country and hiking the 800 km Camino Francis, where the most famous part of the Camino de Santiago is called from the French Pyrenees through northern Spain to Santiago.
Caminos Skies – Heaven over the Camino provides a series of drone flights over contrasting landscapes and frequently shows images of animals and villages on the way. For the majority of the approximately 80-minute viewing time, the filmmakers, who walked the distance, kept close to the film’s protagonists with their cameras. This creates some intimate and touching moments captured with proper restraint. For example, when 54-year-old Cheryl, who lost her husband and son within a short time, deals with her grief along the way.
“The Way of St. James is life,” he said at one point. In keeping with this vision, “Camino Skies – Himmel über dem Camino” in no way ignores the fact that sometimes the pilgrimage is incredibly difficult and is not only characterized by beautiful encounters. The camaraderie between hikers and the opportunity to better deal with bad events are emphasized in many statements. Every once in a while, Grady and Smith turn into annoying and uncomfortable situations.
Most of all, one remembers a scene in which Claude, a self-styled giver of consolation, wisely casting a calendar around himself, wanted to encourage his fellow wanderer Mark, without any wisdom, to give up his dead stepdaughter. The man’s petrified face reveals that her words don’t help much. Interludes like these give the film, which approaches Santiago’s end point in the classic way, a surprising note one often desires. Managers often stay on the surface a lot.