by thepingofpong

The Saviour? The Crush?

It is easy to see why the first Spanish film screened at the European Film Festival, Camino was greeted by controversy in Spain. It subtly accuses the Catholic Church organization Opus Dei, of domestic extremism, murder- or perhaps euthanasia- and arguably worse of all, stupidity.

It is also easy to see why it won six Goya awards (the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars): the acting is admirable, script is beautiful and cinematography exquisite.

Camino is a young girl who has a crush on a boy with the ‘unfortunate’ name, Jesus- a common male name in Spain, when she takes ill, her mother a fervent follower of the Opus Dei, overrides her husband’s will, insisting on total dependence on Jesus to the point of neglecting medical advice. The central drama involves that name: one is the name of the Saviour, the other is the name of a schoolgirl crush.

The drama off screen is between the structure and content. For those with Christian sympathies and still, a palate for good cinema, whether Camino is any good, depends on if it is possible to separate technical prowess from message.

It is an uneasy battle. But no one said, cinema had to be easy.