“The Way” takes place on the Camino de Santiago, a thousand-year-old pilgrimage route across France and Spain. Sheen’s character, Tom, is a doctor living a comfortable life in California who decides to make the trek after his son is killed in a freak storm while on the pilgrimage.
“I think that the film is a reflection of where I’m at on my spiritual path,” said Estevez, who wrote, directed, and co-produced the film, and makes a few cameos as Tom’s unlucky son, Daniel.
Sheen described himself as a “declared Catholic,” but he and his wife did not raise their children Catholic, and have let Estevez take “his own personal quest.”
Estevez said he grew up hearing arguments about religion, but never about spirituality. “It’s religion that divides us,” he said in an interview with his father, “and spirituality ultimately brings us closer together.”
In the film, Tom starts out as a lapsed Catholic. Along the pilgrimage, he meets others who slowly draw him out of his tight-lipped despair and help renew his sense of spirituality. None of these main characters is overtly religious and all have their own issues with God, but by the end each seems to have made some kind of pilgrim’s progress.
Estevez said he intentionally avoided “bludgeoning the audience over the head” with a religious message, although the film is filled with shots of churches and crucifixes.
“You couldn’t point a camera anywhere without seeing religious iconography, Catholic iconography,” Estevez said. “We highlighted it when we needed to.”
Read the review and enjoy: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/sheen-estevez-find-the-way-to-make-a-non-preachy-religious-film/2011/10/07/gIQAYdJMTL_story.html.