Camino (2008) Poster

(2008)

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9/10
amazing
krzysiektom9 May 2010
It is such a superb film. Very sad and depressing, but an excellent film-making and a profound, intelligent script. I can guess that the modern Spanish society does not care much for its catholic Church, otherwise this film would not have received several Goya awards. Because principally the film is an anti-organized religion/organized Church manifesto. It dares to ask the fundamental question: if God exists and is good, why so many awful things and suffering happens to good people?? If the answer cannot be found or makes no sense, then it would mean that there is no God, really. At least not a personal, omnisicient God from the New Testament, that cares about what is going on in our world, knows and is everywhere. The film also portrays clergymen as hypocrytical vultures and convents as sects. The title character is played by a talented and charming girl in early teens who I am sure will grow to be a gorgeous and brilliant actress, while the passages between reality and her troubling dreams are brilliantly made.
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7/10
Portrait of a taliban
josean_xx20 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Fesser draws what must be the most precise and accurate portrait of the behavior and social system of the members of one of the most dangerous among Catholic sect:The Opus Dei. It's a faithful, understated portrait, one that doesn't resort to easy caricaturization, only delivers the facts in a honest way. What comes out however is terrifying: A destructive sect manipulates and destroys the lives of all those that come in contact with them. For audiences that are not familiar with the workings of this religious sect, it may be revealing. Some of its scenes will stay firmly etched in those that watch them: The way the elder sister is manipulated into submission, alienated from family and reduced to a emotionless figure robbed of her freedom, self esteem and joy, the way the mother -the taliban- denies her husband and daughters any happy moments, torturing them with her self imposed beliefs and prohibitions, reducing them to puppets manipulated by her monstrous beliefs, or the scene when Camino, the dying child asks her sane sister, Nuria, who has just told her how envious she is of her because she will be going to heaven soon, whether she wants her to ask for Nuria's prompt death in her prayers. The film loses part of it's strenght when the director decides to film the dreams of the main character, colorful fantasies that do not match the mood and energy of the main plot. Tech work is superb, specially lensing, by Alex Catalán. Actors do a superb job at interpreting those deranged people. In all a powerful movie with some very minor flaws.
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7/10
Great acting in a real story turned upside down
poesiaenobras-118 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It is difficult to make an objective assessment of this movie taking into account the strong criticism of the Opus cult that underlies the movie.

Camino is a fictionalized biography of Alexia Gonzalez Barros, a teeneger who died in 1985 after a short but painful illness. The director changes the main issue of the movie: the love that the real Alexia felt for Jesus is turned into a love for a real kid called Jesus (a common name in Spain). Is that mockery? It's difficult to say. Fesser transforms the love for a heavenly Jesus for a down-to-earth love for a kid. Nobody in the movie notices this except the father. I can understand the family didn't like the idea and, if as the director says, this is not a movie based in her story, to say at the beginning that the movie is based in real facts and to dedicate the movie to Alexia is misleading and, I fear, marketing oriented.

Having said that, if you watch the film as it is, forgetting the facts that could support part of the movie, you will probably like it. Camino, the main character, is extremely well played and you cannot feel but strong sympathy for her. The narrative discourse of the movie, however, it is sometimes too affected by the continuous dreams of the girl, that at time are almost ridiculous in their cinematography.

On the other hand, the movie is a good portrait of how the Opus works. Its sexism, its demand for obedience above all, its cult and sect ways of working at taking people from their families, that is portrayed honestly. The Opus characters, however, are mostly unidimensional, which makes them less believable.

All in all, a good movie difficult to forget, not a masterpiece, with very good acting, that would have been better without marketing allusions to a real character that has little to do with the portrayed one. It is a film about love, a religious love that the director and writer makes terrestial.
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10/10
A wonderful film and a wonderful child
lemmycaution6919 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Camino is the most intense film I've seen this year. I understand that Opus Dei doesn't like this film. I suppose that the Nazi Party doesn't like "Schindler's List", or the stalinists, or the talibanics, or extreme groups don't like films about them. I mention "Schindler's List", because I feel after Camino like after "Schindler's". Out of the theater, I was knocked by the film, I didn't know what's hour, what to do. I was still hooked on the film, and I didn't stop thinking about its characters, its argument, its pictures. Death and sickness and intolerance and dark side of life are inside "Camino", but above all Love and Hope and bright side of life. Sometimes the film is close to horror films (not too close), but another times it has got the joy of a musical (without songs, thank's god). Also, I was born in 1969, and the film presents visual aspects of my mediterranean catholic education. The nuns'school, the typical mass songs, the strict separation between men and women, the old fanatic priests, the dominant mothers and the silent but lover fathers... I enjoy seeing all those pictures of my sentimental education on a screen, and I fear that one of these things exists in present times... And speaking about catholic values and laicism values, my wife is completely agnostic and she says that Freedom in in the film. I'm Catholic believer, and I think that God is in the film. The Church is not only Opus Dei, and the rest of mankind has the right to talk and think about Alexia, the child who inspired the film. If Opus Dei opens a public campaign about Alexia, even with a Youtube Channel, Alexia is now a public figure. Opus Dei cannot order a complete silence for another point of view about this case. But now, after Camino, I love Alexia much more then before.
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8/10
Something is needed to be said
adesteo218 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I recommend this movie not just because provides a great amount of emotions and it's very well edited. I believe this film can give you an accurate and reliable point of view about Opus Dei. It's complicated to explain on images all the psychology which involves the life inside "La Obra", its name in Spanish. For instance, I don't think The Da Vinci Code is faithful to the real Opus Dei, although it shows real practices like the use of "cilicio" and whip. Instead of being too much imaginative "Camino" talks about a real family who tries to understand a painful illness which strikes all their lives. That's when the Opus Dei's fanatic explanation are presented as a way ("camino" in Spanish) of salvation and how all the corporation instigates a distorted view of society in all the family: the sister interned in a center for "numerarios" (like Opus front line soldiers), the mother abandoned herself in pray controlling all the "suspicious" movements which can led to sin, and the father living in the contradiction of loving his children and letting all this happen. I insist, this film is very close to the real Opus Dei, the one from which many of the students on the world are receiving education and values.
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10/10
What is this movie really about? Different people see different things in it
iic-geof18 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Reading the above reviews, I find it somewhat surprising that almost no-one saw what I saw in this excellent movie.

What I saw was an expose' of the heartlessness of the Catholic Church (and I hasten to add that they are not alone).

I saw ambition among the clergy and the girl's mother, overriding their humaneness for this unfortunate girl.

I saw the philosophy of self denial taken to absurd extreme. Who is more deserving of flowers in her hospital room than a dying innocent eleven year old? Is mind control, sequestration, withholding of personal information, constant supervision and the encouragement to wear stones in ones shoes a way to prepare anyone for office anywhere in this day and age, let alone for the catholic church? I saw the Catholic Church manipulating the tragic events in order to "glorify" the church, and the individual clergy involved supporting this in order to enhance their own standing within the hierarchy.

Instead the movie tells us that Camino's dying thoughts were with Jesus, but not with the Jesus of Nazereth, which was the assertion of the clergy and no doubt the overriding factor in her subsequent beautification, ("the church needs more saints" says one clergyman), but with her prepubescent love of a boy of the same name.

I also saw the medical establishment questioned. A GP "No Xray but an injection will settle it", A specialist when an Xray is finally taken-"no problem here, she will be OK soon" - The surgeon on the second Xray "This is serious must repair the vertebrae without delay", finally a scan "The tumor must be removed ASAP" - where a careful diagnosis would have possibly isolated the problem from the beginning and made the last months of Camino's life at least a little more pain free.

In all I found this a very bitter movie, it did not glorify the church but rather leveled serious criticism at it as it did the medical establishment.

Not a movie for the masses, not a movie that could come out of America but in my opinion one of the VERY BEST movies ever.

Warning, If light entertainment is your wish avoid this movie like the plague, but if you want your thought processes stimulated, do not miss it.
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10/10
a gorgeous and stunning film
JMEchevarria09122 September 2008
CAMINO is one of the most intense, beautiful, and inspiring films I have ever seen. It's incredible how a history filled with such grey, such sad characters, can come to be so categorically positive, so affirming. It's amazing that a film that takes on death in such an upfront way and so bravely can be such a passionate homage to life. The best part about the film is that it criticizes nothing, it only conveys reality, and in a surprisingly objective way. I, who consider myself very religious, find this film, in addition to being profoundly human, full of love and tenderness, a film that is also brimming with God. Of course, a God that is totally different from the one Opus Dei twists around its little finger for its exclusive benefit.
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10/10
Beautiful story perfectly well directed
moniquita-l-a26 October 2008
This is a very intense movie, with a wonderful cast, perfectly directed. I can understand that some people may object to the film, in which it is not telling the story the way they want to hear it or have come to believe it, but that is beyond the point of the film: it is simply telling a story, in a beautiful, tender and positive way. And we must not forget, it is BASED on a true story, but just that, based, inspired on it. What we are presented here is a version, a very beautiful one, of a similar story. I think unfortunately any movie about religion, specially when disagreeing with the faith shown in it, is meant to cause trouble within the people that want to worship in that way. That, fortunately, does not dictate the stories that can be told on a film, and this one is obviously a fantastic one. I myself am absolutely non religious, but I enjoyed the story for being so moving, and loved to see the Opus Dei side of it as I consider it interesting, as I would consider interesting a movie or documentary on a child believed to be the re-encarnation of the Buddha. But be sure, this is no Da Vinci Code here, it is not intended to make a caricature of Opus Dei, it is simply done from another point of view which adds to the interest of the movie: after all a movie about a girl saint done from the Opus Dei (or any other religion) point of view would be not only terribly propagandistic, but also much more boring.
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7/10
Faith
jotix10028 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It is hard to sit through "Camino" at times. The film, which is supposed to be based on a real incident in Spain, was adapted by its director, Jarvier Fesser. The basic premise is how blind faith can interfere with medical science causing horrible results. At the center, the young girl's family were members of the Opus Dei, an organization of ultra religious branch of the Catholic church that supposedly deals with attaining sainthood in everyone by acceptance and endurance to human suffering. Although it has nothing to do with Christian Science, we could not help comparing both types of practices, even if the latter one does not accept anything to do with the treatment of ailments by the medical profession.

The story about this family happened fifteen years before 2001, when the action supposedly start. We are taken to meet Gloria and Jose, a couple in Madrid. They have two daughters, the eldest, Nuria, wants to become a nun. The youngest, the sunny Camino, is going to a catholic school. Gloria is a fervent follower of the teachings of the Opus Dei; her blind faith is a rare quality for anyone in the times we are living. Camino is a typical girl with aspirations and dreams, like any other of her friends in school.

Tragedy strikes when Camino begins to suffer a debilitating illness that lands her in a hospital. The problem is a tumor that is pressing against her spinal chord and threatens to paralyze her. Gloria and Jose worry about what their daughter future will be. The mother insists Camino to offer her sufferings to God. When the operation does not get the results expected, and Camino keeps getting worse, it is decided to transfer her to Pamplona to be near Gloria's sister and Nuria, whose convent is there as well. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to save the young girl's life.

Mr. Fesser goes after the machinations and manipulations behind the scenes of the branch of Catholicism that insists that faith will triumph over medical science. The only victim is Camino. The director gets an inspired performance from Nerea Camacho, who plays the sweet Camino, and Carmen Elias that appears as Gloria. This is no easy film to watch because of its subject matter as we witness the deterioration in front of our eyes of the young girl whose life is taken from her. Also in the cast, Mariano Venancio, and Manuela Velles.
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7/10
21st century's Spain assessment of Opus Dei's doctrine
aquilario26 October 2008
A moving film, which is capable of provoking genuine feelings among the audience. The subject treated is, indeed, rather controvert: those who do not agree with Spain's extreme orthodox Catholic group Opus Dei will probably feel comforted by the film; those whose resilient Catholic convictions stay clear of questioning will most likely find it annoying, if not bluntly ridiculous and insulting. A certain dialog between the two poles is proposed by the film-maker, Javier Fesser, by means of which a possible virtuous in-between is envisaged. Such dialog, however, is far from being direct and: constant use is made of metaphors and imagination, resulting in a highly idiosyncratic discourse set in a universe where viewers may get lost. An excellent production with some very powerful scenes.
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3/10
I've had more enjoyable visits to the dentist
pbtax13 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This film is disturbing in many ways. First, 2.5 hours of watching a girl die of cancer (in graphic detail) is a big downer- seeing people die for real is enough, thank you. Second, the melodramatic music made me sick. Third, while enduring the pain of the girl's deterioration, you are distracted by the continuing cheap shots at the religious people in the movie (note: I am not opus dei, but the people who have endorsed this movie obviously hate opus).

As others have pointed out, it is NOT acceptable to say "based on a true story" and then trivialize the girl's religious devotion by suggesting that her interest in a boy named Jesus was the real source of her rapture.
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10/10
extremely powerful film
hitestudio1 December 2008
I have the pleasure of knowing the Director of this film and was able to see it multiple times during the final edit phase while visiting Spain. The emotional impact of this film is unique to any form of art. The story is about a young girl and her life..and the human drama that tragedy brings to life.The history of this girl is steeped in Opes Dei and her families connection to the church. The film is not and is not meant to be a commentary on this. This film is anything but anti spiritual or anti anything.I hope this film makes it into the international market in spite of its unique and powerful vision. The director Javier Fesser has truly made a stunning film. To me the impact of the film goes beyond entertainment. This is not a light film though it is a positive experience to view it.
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3/10
This movie was terrible
pricenicholas7 April 2009
Having looked at some of the comments left by users about this movie I am not sure whether we saw the same movie.. the movie that i saw was so bad that i wanted to walk out after half an hour, except i was with someone and didn't want to upset them. the start of the movie - where the girl is on her deathbed, with family, hospital staff and clergy, got me interested. What had happened before ? why was she so sick ? etc. However, my attention soon waned as the movie refused to decide what it was. Was it a kid's movie ? well, it would certainly appeal to a female tween audience, i.e. things such as discovering boys, close relations with the father, etc, but graphically showing what happened in the operation. Did we really need to see inside her spine and that massive needle? The movie is confused by sub-plots and asides, such as the book she discovers - Mr Tweebly ?? - which could've played a much larger part in telling the story, but only gets a few mentions. And so out of context. It is like several different directors or editors just pasted scenes together, with no narrative or focus to push the story forward. The little girl was lovely, but sickly sweet in her demeanor, if her eyes widen once more in astonishment, i will scream. Everything that happened in the movie was signposted so blatantly that there was no surprise or anticipation, prime example being when her Dad dies in the car crash. Is the movie pro or anti-religion, it seems to be scathing in how religion can corrupt and divide families, but in the end all that the older sister does is put the 'unsuitable' book in the same cupboard as the more appropriate material. It said, at the end of the film, that it is based on a true story and that the person in question is waiting for beautification, so it is confusing as to the director's viewpoint. In summary, what looked like an interesting idea - looking back at the months before someone's death - was a hodgepodge of confusion, stupid fantastical scenes where she chases mice and is chased by the guardian angel and supporting characters who are predictable and not very likable. The film tries to do too much and ends up being very little. A movie to recommend where a young girl is the protagonist, which involves fantasy and supernatural themes and is entertaining is Pan's Labyrinth,
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7/10
As exaggeration and fanaticism stains everything
Andres-Camara6 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
In my humble opinion Camino is a great movie, even if it has sections that are not too good, but it is too bathed in ideology that makes it as it progresses, to tire the viewer.

I explain what I said. It's a good movie, that can not be discussed, you believe it, the actors are, most of them very well, tell a story that comes to you and excites you. The problem is beyond. Technically, for my taste, the photo is quite bad, the realization I do not like, because it does not come out of the foreground except to go to general without reason, the assembly is not good either, because it places at the beginning the end, with what when You see again at the end, for me loses strength.

Now I go to the exaggeration part that spoils everything. Is anyone able to tell me if any characters in the film, who are religious, are morally acceptable? Respecting the girl of course, do not go to be put a complaint to put the girl as a bad person, in addition you have to make your character wonderfully charming so that you feel sorry when you die. What he does not resist is to make him, despite his young age, very exciting, he puts it with a beautiful hair and bad hair very bet and when dancing is elegant to satiety. I am an atheist by the grace of God, as Camilo José Cela would say, for many years, however in this film, I get tired of seeing that the believing characters are bad guys and the not so believers are good. The example is in the father and the mother. The mother, everything makes it morally unacceptable and the father who is not so believer is a good person.

In this film, he steals himself with a knife when talking about the Christian religion, the believers, the rich, the privatization of health. There are several examples and I put a few. At first the priest tells the mothers to choose the friends of the children, the end in a box where the sister is locked there is a box with prohibited books, when the young priest talks to the girl's father, with the window open And an exaggerated sun that burns the image, has the light on, the priest tells him to take him to private healing, which is better and treat you better, said in the mouth of this character is how to stab it. When the older sister goes to see the aunt to get the money, she shows a wealthy person, like no bad guys and they quickly have to go and the aunt tells them they already have what they want.

I could continue to put examples of how being so radical makes the movie tired, I get tired of always seeing a lousy look of some and very good of others.

Spoiler:

I think he could have made a good movie if he had not let himself be carried away by his ideology as exaggeratedly as he has. It's a movie that comes to you and excites you and even tires you to an atheist
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1/10
A missed chance
lurditas14 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I'm really sorry for the real family of the girl. They must have been suffering a lot with a movie about his/her daughter and sister which completely distort the reality. If i have had a sister who died, i would like my privacy or at least a movie that respect the truth and my beliefs. I have faith and i can tell the director didn't show catholic faith as it is. Faith helps you to be happy, to understand other beliefs and ways of thinking and behaving. In fact, i and lots of catholic people enjoy our friendship with no believers and learn about each other. It's a pity that the movie distort reality and manipulate it in order to serve to his aim: to "fanatize" which is not. It looks like he's the real fanatic. A pity too.
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1/10
Promotion of hatred
fran3003 November 2013
Visual artifice without depth. And the worst of all: a complete bunch of lies, and promotes hatred. First of all, we must know that all fact depicted on this film are not based on real life of Alexia, even when the director suggests that.

The one and only merit of director, Javier Fesser, is to be brother of a known radio comedian in Spain. In the other side, we have an excellent teenage actress with a brilliant future, Nerea Camacho.

The movie does not deserve to exist if it causes so much pain to the girl's family, taking advantage of his death. Artistically it certainly, does not provide such a long value.
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10/10
You must watch it
eylul-2049316 January 2018
I couldn't belive the review with 1-3 stars. Either They have never watched a good movie before nor really conservative about church and religion. No one who is watching this movie with a pure heart in that innocent girl's eyes can not criticize it that harsh. And i think the scenario and acting also great. I don't like drama but this is my favourite movie and i recommend it to everyone.
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