Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago is an odd duck of a documentary. Its purpose seems to be to tell the stories of six particular pilgrims walking the 500-mile Camino de Santiago without spending much time on the Camino itself (though it does touch on the history and the religious implications of such a walk). It all feels rather clichébut somehow it’s delightful nonetheless.

We've all been there: We're searching for meaning, we're at a crossroads, we're spewing platitudes that we heard in church or AA or during guided meditation. And make no mistake, the pilgrims on this journey—hikers in various stages of crisis or a "Hey, why not walk the Camino?" sort of mood—are filled with the kind of talk that leads directly to eye rolling.

However, and this is the key, the emotions are real, the journey is real and the self-help musings of some of the people eventually take on a more human feel. Who hasn't been without a job and a home? Who hasn't grieved after the loss of a loved one and not known what to do next? Even if the pilgrims/hikers don't share your particular story, each of them shares what makes us human. It helps that everyone in the documentary is pretty likeable, even if we can only know them so much in 84 minutes. See it if you can.

Directed by Lydia B. Smith
CCA Cinematheque
84 min.