Before movie lovers attend the Vernon Film Society’s première screening of The Way at the Towne Cinema Monday, they will have the opportunity to hear about and see the Camino pilgrimage from two locals who walked the 880-kilometre path across northern Spain two years ago.
In May 2009, Jack Greenhalgh, a retired Anglican priest now living in Kelowna, and Vernon writer/photographer Wayne Emde walked the Camino de Santiago, also known as “The Way of St. James” from France to Spain.
“In five weeks we averaged about 25 kilometres a day, following the path that has taken millions of pilgrims across northern Spain in the last 1,000 years,” said Emde.
The men will make their presentations at Vernon’s Centre for Spiritual Living at 4 and 6 p.m., coinciding with the screening of the film at the Towne Cinema at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m.
“We will talk briefly about the concept of pilgrimage in the modern world, our journey, and then show a brief slide show of images from the Camino. After, there will be time for questions and discussions,” said Emde.
Emde saw the Victoria première of The Way, which was written by Emilio Estevez and stars his real-life father, Martin Sheen, a month ago.
“It was a select group of Camino pilgrims, so the expectations were high,” he said. “I think Sheen got it right. Everyone has their own reason for walking the Camino, and the walking, combined with the people you meet along the way, both challenges you and changes you.”
The only criticism Emde had with the film is that none of the characters even got a blister.
“It’s a long journey and everyone has foot problems, from simple blisters to tendonitis. Jack stitched up a quarter-inch deep split in a pilgrim’s foot one night, using only a sewing needle and some thread.”
While on the Camino, the men became involved with a documentary crew who followed them and a few other pilgrims for the five weeks of their journey.
“They are in the final stages of editing the documentary, and we hope to raise some money to help them along because some of their promised funding died up after they finished shooting,” said Emde.
Anyone interested in the documentary can watch a preview at www.caminodocumentary.org.
Admission to Emde and Greenhalgh’s presentations at the Centre for Spiritual Living, located behind the Towne Cinema on 29th Avenue, is by donation.