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Movies about the Camino de Santiago that will inspire you

Every great story deserves to be told. And that of one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in the world, along with the Vatican or Jerusalem, could not be for less.

The Camino de Santiago is the main scenario of many films and cinematographic works. And no wonder, because hundreds of thousands of pilgrims walk this pilgrimage route every year. Alone, as a couple, with friends… each one with their own motives and a story to tell.

Cinema is an entertaining way to learn, discover and seek inspiration. So, if you are planning to do the Camino de Santiago; if your friends have told you about the route and you want to know more about it; if you want to know what is the Camino de Santiago; if you have already lived the Camino experience in your own flesh and want to relive it; you have come to the right place.

In this list of movies about the Camino de Santiago you will find films for all tastes. For those who are looking for inspiring stories. For adventurers and dreamers. For the romantics. Those looking for a few laughs. Or those who never get scared. Get the popcorn ready and make yourself comfortable on the couch.

Running time: 120min | Genre: Drama | Director: Emilio Estévez | Country: Spain | Year: 2010

Cast: Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, Yorick Van Wageningen, Simón Andreu, Emilio Estévez, Ángela Molina, Eusebio Lázaro, Carlos Leal, Tchéky Karyo.

The movie “The Way” is probably the most acclaimed and well-known adaptation by the viewers. This is not a surprising fact, since it stars Martin Sheen, a Hollywood film legend.

The film has managed to promote the pilgrimage among the American population and The Santiago Way all over the world. It was filmed in Spain, in real Camino scenery. The viewer will enjoy in first person the landscapes and villages of Spain and Galicia along the French Way. Roncesvalles, León or Muxía, among others.

the-way-película-portada

Synopsis:

The protagonist of The Way is Tom Avery, played by acclaimed actor Martin Sheen, who is also the director’s father in real life. Tom is an ophthalmologist who receives the sad news of the death of his son while walking the Camino de Santiago. Immediately, this breaking news makes him embark on the journey that will change his life completely. The main character will travel the Camino de Santiago with the aim of resuming the pilgrimage his son could not finish. However, he will set out on a personal journey that will reflect and change his perspective on life.

the-way-película-portada

The movie “The Way” is probably the most acclaimed and well-known adaptation by the viewers. This is not a surprising fact, since it stars Martin Sheen, a Hollywood film legend.

The film has managed to promote the pilgrimage among the American population and The Santiago Way all over the world. It was filmed in Spain, in real Camino scenery. The viewer will enjoy in first person the landscapes and villages of Spain and Galicia along the French Way. Roncesvalles, León or Muxía, among others.

Synopsis:

The protagonist of The Way is Tom Avery, played by acclaimed actor Martin Sheen, who is also the director’s father in real life. Tom is an ophthalmologist who receives the sad news of the death of his son while walking the Camino de Santiago. Immediately, this breaking news makes him embark on the journey that will change his life completely. The main character will travel the Camino de Santiago with the aim of resuming the pilgrimage his son could not finish. However, he will set out on a personal journey that will reflect and change his perspective on life.

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    Within the Way Without (Tres en el Camino)

    Running time: 148min | Genre: Documentary | Director: Laurence Boulting | Country: Spain and United Kingdom | Year: 2004

    Cast: Carolina Calvo, Gabriel Folgado, Rob Jorritsma, Madoka Mayuzumi, Luis Ángel Pérez, Milena Salgado.

    Synopsis:

    The documentary film “Tres en el Camino” shares the story of three pilgrims from Holland, Japan and Brazil who walk the Camino de Santiago in different seasons of the year. The viewer will follow the protagonists on their journey, and will be able to empathize with the experience of each pilgrim. The film is about getting to know yourself. Sharing with pilgrims from all over the world this physical and spiritual journey. It provides a different vision of understanding and experiencing life after walking the Camino de Santiago.

    película-3-en-el-camino-portada
    película-3-en-el-camino-portada

    Synopsis:

    The documentary film “Three on the Camino” shares the story of three pilgrims from Holland, Japan and Brazil who walk the Camino de Santiago in different seasons of the year. The viewer will follow the protagonists on their journey, and will be able to empathize with the experience of each pilgrim. The film is about getting to know yourself. Sharing with pilgrims from all over the world this physical and spiritual journey. It provides a different vision of understanding and experiencing life after walking the Camino de Santiago.

    Saint Jacques… La Mecque

    Running time: 148min | Genre: Comedy, Drama | Director: Coline Serreau | Country: France | Year: 2005

    Cast: Muriel Robin, Artus de Penguern, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Pascal Légitimus, Marie Bunel, Marie Kremer, Flore Vannier-Moreau, Aymen Saïdi, Nicolas Cazalé, Rodolfo De Souza.

    This film focuses on the Camino de Santiago in France. The viewer will enjoy some of the most beautiful French villages along the way. At the same time, they will follow the main characters on their “winding” pilgrimage to Santiago.

    Synopsis:

    The French film “Saint Jacques… La Mecque” shows the story of three brothers who, after the passing of their mother, set out on the Camino de Santiago from Puy-en-Velay, France, accompanied by six other pilgrims. Romances. Anger. Arguments over the sharing of mother’s inheritance. A family relationship hanging by a thread. These are some of the events in which the protagonists will be involved as the film unfolds. Definitely, a road full of setbacks.

    Pelicula-St. Jacques…La-Mecque-portada
    Pelicula-St. Jacques…La-Mecque-portada

    This film focuses on the Camino de Santiago in France. The viewer will enjoy some of the most beautiful French villages along the way. At the same time, they will follow the main characters on their “winding” pilgrimage to Santiago.

    Synopsis:

    The French film “St. Jacques… La Mecque” shows the story of three brothers who, after the passing of their mother, set out on the Camino de Santiago from Puy-en-Velay, France, accompanied by six other pilgrims. Romances. Anger. Arguments over the sharing of mother’s inheritance. A family relationship hanging by a thread. These are some of the events in which the protagonists will be involved as the film unfolds. Definitely, a road full of setbacks.

    Road to Santiago (Al final del Camino)

    Running time: 100min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Roberto Santiago | Country: Spain | Year: 2009

    Cast: Fernando Tejero, Malena Alterio, Javier Gutiérrez, Diego Peretti, Javier Mora, Cristina Alcázar, Jorge Monje, Luis Callejo, Alberto Jo Lee, Ma-Anne Valmeo, Irene Escolar, Ana Milán.

    “Al final del Camino” explores the interesting possibilities of the Camino de Santiago in Galicia in a comical and romantic tone. A Spanish love comedy that takes place between Madrid, the capital of Spain, and several places along the Camino de Santiago.

    Synopsis:

    The film tells the story of journalist Pilar (Malena Alterio) and photographer Nacho (Fernando Tejero). Both hate each other. A fact their company ignores when they decide to send both to work on a article of the Camino de Santiago. Their mission is to find out if Olmo, an Argentinean guru who claims to solve couples problems along the way, turns out to be a fraud. Or not.

    Pelicula-Al-final-del-Camino-portada
    Pelicula-Al-final-del-Camino-portada

    “Al final del Camino” explores the interesting possibilities of the Camino de Santiago in Galicia in a comical and romantic tone. A Spanish love comedy that takes place between Madrid, the capital of Spain, and several places along the Camino de Santiago.

    Synopsis:

    The film tells the story of journalist Pilar (Malena Alterio) and photographer Nacho (Fernando Tejero). Both hate each other. A fact their company ignores when they decide to send both to work on a article of the Camino de Santiago. Their mission is to find out if Olmo, an Argentinean guru who claims to solve couples problems along the way, turns out to be a fraud. Or not.

    The Apostle (O Apóstolo)

    Running time: 72min | Genre: Animation, Horror | Director: Fernando Cortizo | Country: Spain | Year: 2012

    Cast: Carlos Blanco, Xosé Manuel Olveira, Paul Naschy, Jorge Sanz, Celso Bugallo, Geraldine Chaplin, Manuel Manquiña, Luis Tosar, Atilano Franco, Jacobo Rey, Pedro Alonso, Isabel Blanco.

    The only animation proposal based on The Santiago Way is called “O Apóstolo”. A pioneer production and recognized for being the first Spanish Stop-Motion film made with clay. Its animated figures feature the voices of actors such as Luis Tosar, Geraldine Chaplin, Manuel Manquiña and Jorge Sanz, among others.

    Synopsis:

    The film takes place in a fictitious village on the Camino de Santiago. The main character, a fugitive prisoner, tries to recover a loot he had hidden in the village before being imprisoned. However, his mission will not be so easy. He will encounter a creepy village full of spirits, the Santa Compaña and sinister inhabitants he will have to face in order to achieve his goal.

    pelicula-o-apostolo-portada
    pelicula-o-apostolo-portada

    The only animation proposal based on The Santiago Way is called “O Apóstolo”. A pioneer production and recognized for being the first Spanish Stop-Motion film made with clay. Its animated figures feature the voices of actors such as Luis Tosar, Geraldine Chaplin, Manuel Manquiña and Jorge Sanz, among others.

    Synopsis:

    The film takes place in a fictitious village on the Camino de Santiago. The main character, a fugitive prisoner, tries to recover a loot he had hidden in the village before being imprisoned. However, his mission will not be so easy. He will encounter a creepy village full of spirits, the Santa Compaña and sinister inhabitants he will have to face in order to achieve his goal.

    Americano

    Running time: 80min | Genre: Romantic Comedy | Director: Kevin Noland | Country: United States | Year: 2005

    Cast: Joshua Jackson, Leonor Varela, Timm Sharp, Ruthanna Hopper, Dennis Hopper.

    Synopsis:

    The film “Americano” begins on the European vacation of three American friends. Chris Mckinley, after losing his luggage, must stay in Spain during the San Fermines Festival. In the city he meets Adela, a Spanish girl he immediately falls in love with. Chris decides to leave everything, follow Adela and walk the Camino de Santiago from Pamplona. During his journey, you will follow the protagonist in his search for a passionate and unknown love through the landscapes and charm of the French Way.

    pelicula-Americano-portada
    pelicula-Americano-portada

    Synopsis:

    The film “Americano” begins on the European vacation of three American friends. Chris Mckinley, after losing his luggage, must stay in Spain during the San Fermines Festival. In the city he meets Adela, a Spanish girl he immediately falls in love with. Chris decides to leave everything, follow Adela and walk the Camino de Santiago from Pamplona. During his journey, you will follow the protagonist in his search for a passionate and unknown love through the landscapes and charm of the French Way.

    How far would you go to be happy? (Onde está a Felicidade?)

    Running time: 110min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Carlos Alberto Riccelli | Country: Brazil | Year: 2011

    Cast: Bruna Lombardi, Bruno Garcia, Marcello Airoldi, Marta Larralde, María Pujalte, Wandy Doratiotto, Sérgio Guizé, Paulo Federal, Luis Zahera, Pedro Alonso, Berta Ojea.

    A journey full of comedy, challenges and honesty, where the viewer will enjoy the most iconic places of the Camino such as Roncesvalles and O Cebreiro.

    Synopsis:

    “How far would you go to be happy?” takes the viewer into the story of Teodora (Bruna Lombardi) who finds herself in a complicated moment of her life. Her professional career and her love relationship are going through a crisis. This situation leads the protagonist to walk the way to Santiago with her friend Zeca and Milena (played by Marta Larralde).

    Pelicula-Onde-Esta-a-Felicidade-portada
    Pelicula-Onde-Esta-a-Felicidade-portada

    A journey full of comedy, challenges and honesty, where the viewer will enjoy the most iconic places of the Camino such as Roncesvalles and O Cebreiro.

    Synopsis:

    “How far would you go to be happy?” takes the viewer into the story of Teodora (Bruna Lombardi) who finds herself in a complicated moment of her life. Her professional career and her love relationship are going through a crisis. This situation leads the protagonist to walk the way to Santiago with her friend Zeca and Milena (played by Marta Larralde).

    Flower of Holiness (Flor de Santidad)

    Running time: 109min | Genre: Drama S.XIX | Director: Adolfo Marsillach | Country: Spain | Year: 1972

    Cast: Eliana de Santis, Ismael Merlo, Antonio Casas, Francisco Balcells, Teresa del Río, Mari Paz Ballesteros, María Bassó, José Enrique Camacho, Francisco Casares, Amparo Climent, Vicente Cuesta.

    “Flor de Santidad” is a film based on a prose poem by the renowned spanish author Valle-Inclán. The piece places the viewer in a poor and superstitious Galicia of the 19th century.

    Synopsis:

    The film narrates a series of dramatic events that take place in a village after the arrival of an unknown pilgrim. The protagonist is a shepherdess named Adega, a young woman with divine visions and religious beliefs, who experiences several unpleasant episodes with this mysterious pilgrim. Who the villagers regarded as an outsider sent by Satan.

    Pelicula_Flor_de_Santidad_portada
    Pelicula_Flor_de_Santidad_portada

    “Flor de Santidad” is a film based on a prose poem by the renowned spanish author Valle-Inclán. The piece places the viewer in a poor and superstitious Galicia of the 19th century.

    Synopsis:

    The film narrates a series of dramatic events that take place in a village after the arrival of an unknown pilgrim. The protagonist is a shepherdess named Adega, a young woman with divine visions and religious beliefs, who experiences several unpleasant episodes with this mysterious pilgrim. Who the villagers regarded as an outsider sent by Satan.

    The Milky Way (La Voie Lactée)

    Running time: 98min | Genre: Comedy | Director: Luís Buñuel | Country: France | Year: 1969

    Cast: Paul Frankeur, Laurent Terzieff, Alain Cuny, Edith Scob, Bernard Verley, Michel Piccoli, Pierre Clémenti, Delphine Seyrig.

    The story of this film takes place on the French Way.

    Synopsis:

    The Milky Way narrates the journey of two French pilgrims who venture on the pilgrimage from Paris to Santiago de Compostela. On their way, they meet numerous characters that trigger comical situations related to the Christian religion and the heresy of the human being. A mixture between symbolism of Catholicism and communism with a surrealistic aesthetic.

    Pelicula-La-voie-Lactee-portada
    Pelicula-La-voie-Lactee-portada

    The story of this film takes place on the French Way.

    Synopsis:

    The Milky Way narrates the journey of two French pilgrims who venture on the pilgrimage from Paris to Santiago de Compostela. On their way, they meet numerous characters that trigger comical situations related to the Christian religion and the heresy of the human being. A mixture between symbolism of Catholicism and communism with a surrealistic aesthetic.

    Cotolay

    Running time: 104min | Genre: Drama Middle Ages | Director: José Antonio Nieves Conde | Country: Spain | Year: 1965

    Cast: Vicente Parra, Didier Haudepin, José Bódalo, José Bastida, Roberto Rey, Ramón Centenero, Santiago Ontañón, Miguel Palenzuela, Conrado San Martín.

    Synopsis:

    This film is based on the legend of the child Cotolay and his role in the foundation of the convent of Valdedios. In Santiago de Compostela. It is set in the early 13th century. When the pilgrimage played a decisive role in the expansion of Christianity in Spain. The story focuses on the arrival of three humble friars to Santiago de Compostela. To complete their task, they will have the help of Cotolay, whose cunning and kindness will be key in the development of the story.

    Pelicula_Cotolay_El_niño_y_el_lobo_portada
    Pelicula_Cotolay_El_niño_y_el_lobo_portada

    Synopsis:

    This film is based on the legend of the child Cotolay and his role in the foundation of the convent of Valdedios. In Santiago de Compostela. It is set in the early 13th century. When the pilgrimage played a decisive role in the expansion of Christianity in Spain. The story focuses on the arrival of three humble friars to Santiago de Compostela. To complete their task, they will have the help of Cotolay, whose cunning and kindness will be key in the development of the story.

    El Pórtico de la Gloria

    Running time: 92min | Genre: Drama, Melodrama | Director: Rafael J. Salvia | Country: Spain | Year: 1953

    Cast: José Mojica, Francisco Amor, Lina Rosales, Lola Herrera, Otto Sirgo, Santiago Rivero, Agustín Andrade Torre, José Sepúlveda, Rosa Palomar, Pilar Gómez Ferrer, Aníbal Vela.

    Synopsis:

    This is the oldest and only black and white movie on the list. El Pórtico de la Gloria tells the adventures of Fray José and a group of children from the Mexican Children’s Choral Society, who travel to Spain to attend the celebration of the Jacobean Holy Year. On their way they meet Pilar, a rich singer with a murky background. She offers them protection in exchange for Fray José’s help in resolving issues from her past. Inquiring, he discovers that Jaime (a member of the choir) is Pilar’s lost son.

    pelicula-el-portico-de-la-gloria-portada
    pelicula-el-portico-de-la-gloria-portada

    Synopsis:

    This is the oldest and only black and white movie on the list. El Pórtico de la Gloria tells the adventures of Fray José and a group of children from the Mexican Children’s Choral Society, who travel to Spain to attend the celebration of the Jacobean Holy Year. On their way they meet Pilar, a rich singer with a murky background. She offers them protection in exchange for Fray José’s help in resolving issues from her past. Inquiring, he discovers that Jaime (a member of the choir) is Pilar’s lost son.

    Series filmed on the Camino de Santiago

    The popularity of the Camino de Santiago has eased the leap to the small screen. The series Caminantes (2020) and 3 Caminos (2021) are two series produced in Spain with the Camino de Santiago as the protagonist.

    Documentaries about the Camino de Santiago

    If you are looking for a more informative and realistic experience, without the make-up of cinema, there are plenty of documentaries. They share the experiences of pilgrims during and after the Camino, their history, the iconic landscapes of the Galician ecosystem and their traditions.

    Strangers on Earth: A documentary about Camino de Santiago

    Hailed as “deeply moving” (NOW Magazine) and “marvelous” (Globe and Mail), Strangers on the Earth explores the mental landscapes of the intrepid wayfarers who search for meaning on the paths of Europe’s most popular pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago. One such pilgrim is Cleveland Orchestra cellist Dane Johansen, who ventures to walk the 600-mile route with his instrument on his back, performing Bach for his fellow travelers along the way. Strangers on the Earth examines the physical and spiritual aspects of the concept of ‘journey’ and the vital role it can play as part of the human experience.

    At Galiwonders we had the opportunity to interviy Tristan Kook. The Director. There we go with it:

    What led you to make “Strangers on the Earth”?

    In 2012, a friend by the name of Dane Johansen told me about a fabled and ancient pilgrimage in Spain that he wanted to walk (1000km!) while carrying his cello, stopping along the way to play music for his fellow pilgrims.

    This, of course, was the Camino de Santiago, and the film we went on to make, Strangers on the Earth, completely outgrew our initial concept of making a film about Dane’s journey: instead we focused on the journey of the universal pilgrim, of the hundreds of thousands of people who walk this path every year and have done so since the Middle Ages.

    That exceptional energy that flows westward along the Camino was something we couldn’t ignore, and it drove the entire project forward as soon as we settled on telling this universal story, as opposed to a more limited story about a specific person.

    There are different movies and documentaries about the Camino de Santiago, what is special about Strangers on the Earth?

    In choosing not to highlight individuals in the film and to instead focus on what makes us all similar as pilgrims (who share in common joys, struggles and crises/catharses of spirit), Strangers on the Earth is a more experiential, meditative film that places the viewer inside the head of the universal pilgrim.
    The film has no onscreen interviews, thus creating the effect of hearing an internal monologue while making the pilgrimage, just as if you were alone with your thoughts halfway through a day’s walk on the Camino. We also focus on the act of pilgrimage in the modern world, and how it has changed from what it once was, both physically and spiritually.

    The story of Dane Johansen, is it a real story?

    Every frame of Dane’s story in the film is real, from him carrying his cello from France to Finisterre, to the fact that he would play a concert almost every night for six weeks at the end of a long day of walking (and play beautifully from memory, no less).

    It was very difficult for him at times to balance his musician’s role with his role as a pilgrim, and this is captured in the film. Some people ask why he would do this seemingly crazy venture, but when you hear the music in the film (the Cello Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach), you get the sense that he was motivated by sheer love of music and in particular this very special composer.

    Was it difficult to film on the Camino? How long did it take to make the documentary?

    In addition to the physical challenges (professional camera and sound equipment can weigh more than an average pilgrim’s backpack), shooting the film on the Camino was mostly a challenge of organization.

    We always had one team on the path, consisting of a cinematographer, a camera assistant, and a sound person, while the rest of the crew would shuttle ahead to the next destination and record interviews with tired pilgrims or plan to shoot one of Dane’s concerts in an old church.

    Keeping track of our accommodations, researching our fellow pilgrims (the old-fashioned way: talking to them!), keeping our gear clean and tidy, giving crew members staggered rest, and downloading and organizing footage were just some of the tasks we had to perform on a daily basis.

    We shot on the Camino for six weeks, traveling from Roncesvalles to Finisterre. But just like the pilgrim’s journey that doesn’t end in Santiago, nor did our film’s journey end when we finished shooting: it took about 18 months to edit (we had 100+ hours of footage), not to mention the work that goes into bringing the film to festivals and our upcoming commercial release in the US, for which we are very excited.

    We hope this post has inspired you. And above all, that it has been useful to find information and to have a good time!

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