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The Way

Emilio Estevez

  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2009
  • Language: English
  • Producer: Emilio Estevez, David Alexanian, Julio Fernández
  • Executive Producer: Alberto Marini, Stewart Till, Ramon Gerard Estevez, Janet Templeton
  • Screenplay: Emilio Estevez
  • Runtime: 140
  • Programmes:

Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago. Driven by his profound sadness and desire to understand his son better, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage. Along the way he learns what it means to be a citizen of the world again and discovers the difference between “The life we live and the life we choose.”

DramaComedyEuropeFamily RelationsRoad MovieAgingReligion & Spirituality

screening times

    • Friday September 10
    • 3:30:00 PM
    • Saturday September 11
    • 12:30:00 PM
    • Sunday September 19
    • 6:30:00 PM

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Four years after his impressive ensemble biopic Bobby screened at the Festival, actor-director Emilio Estevez returns with another ambitious drama that also features his father, Martin Sheen. The Way is a touching film about the testy yet unbreakable bond between father and son, as well as the supportive, familial connections that can form among strangers.

Tom (Sheen), an American ophthalmologist, is informed that his son (Estevez) has been killed in a freak accident on a pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James, in the northwest of Spain. Upon arriving in France to collect his son’s remains and return to the United States, Tom is hit with a profound sense of sadness and quickly changes his plans. Equipped with his deceased son’s guidebook and backpack, he embarks on the 800km pilgrimage from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in an attempt to honour his son’s memory by finishing what he had started.

Along the way, Tom encounters several eccentric travellers, each with their varied motivations: a gregarious Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen) wants to lose weight, a Canadian woman (Deborah Kara Unger) hopes to quit her addiction to cigarettes, an Irish author (James Nesbitt) struggling to write a travel book. Their apparent weaknesses frustrate the stoic and determined Tom, yet the farther they travel together the more they come to form a surrogate family unit and support each other through their various tribulations.

Set against gorgeous vistas of France and Spain, The Way, like all great road trip movies, depicts how travelling through an unknown land can lead to greater self-knowledge and understanding. A moving and potent character study buoyed by a great soundtrack and an immensely likable cast, The Way is a journey of self-discovery that follows four very different people as they learn to better love themselves and each other.

Cameron Bailey

director bio

Emilio Estevez was born in New York City. In the early eighties he began a successful acting career, appearing in films such as The Outsiders (83), Repo Man (84), The Breakfast Club (85), Stakeout (87) and Young Guns (88). He made his feature debut as writer-director with Wisdom (85) and has subsequently directed episodes of several television programmes and feature films, including Men at Work (90), The War at Home (96), and Bobby (06), which screened at the Festival. The Way (10) is his latest feature film.

full credits

Principal Cast: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger, Yorick Van Wageningen, James Nesbitt
Emilio Estevez, David Alexanian, Julio Fernández
Executive Producer:
Alberto Marini, Stewart Till, Ramon Gerard Estevez, Janet Templeton
Juanmi Azpiroz
Raúl Dávalos
Glenn T. Morgan
Tyler Bates
Production Designer:
Víctor Molero
International Sales Agent:
 Icon Entertainment
Production Company:
Elixir Films
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