The Camino Voyage
Following a small crew of musicians and artists headed by writer and poet Danny Sheehy, The Camino Voyage sees these men make the eponymous 2,500km journey from Ireland to Northern Spain in a traditional Irish boat. Being heralded as a modern Celtic odyssey, this travel documentary is full of high hopes and aspirations and, in many ways, is the cinematic equivalent of hearing a story from your grandad: it’s an interesting tale, but can be incredibly dull at times.
The film has a very rough feel to it. Poor sound quality and shaky camera movements remind us that this is actual documentation of an expedition that was made over the course of three years and not a romanticised re-telling artificially constructed by a film crew. Although this lack of production and polish may not be the most engaging aspect, whenever the viewer is greeted with the vistas of the Irish and French coasts, they are reminded of the natural beauty of the world, and it’s at these moments we understand exactly why these non-professional sailors put themselves through the strains of the journey. The steady rhythm of the oars and waves that set the tempo for lulling shanties offer a warm comfort on the cold Irish sea.
Whilst the achievement of these men should never be underestimated, the issue with the documentary is that it is tediously uneventful. Told predominantly through interviews with the crew, the majority of The Camino Voyage surprisingly takes place on land, either in small pubs or at campsites as the team talk about their thoughts of the journey and play traditional Irish folk songs to entertain a small crowd of locals. Consequently, we feel disconnected from the actual voyage, instead meeting the group at a local pub to catch up on their adventure. The small-scale telling of this massive journey is humbling, but it also undermines just how big their achievement is.
A humble, inspirational, and sometimes lacklustre project, The Camino Voyage serves as the documentation of an epic feat completed by a small group of dreamers. It’s only at the film’s conclusion where we learn of the true cost of this dream that we fully appreciate everything these men have undergone.
The Camino Voyage does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Glasgow Film Festival 2018 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Glasgow Film Festival website here.
Watch the trailer for The Camino Voyage here: