To call Javier Fesser's thrilling, embarrassing, over-
the-top, can't-miss-it movie CAMINO a "provocation" does not begin to describe this total smackdown of The Catholic Church in Spain. Beginning in a hospital room in which our bed-ridden heroine lays dying, the writer/director (shown below) takes us back a few months to a more "normal" time before sickness set in. Not that the family shown here could in most ways be considered normal. (If it could, then Spain is in worse trouble than many of the films in this year's SCN are telling us.)
Although the FSLC's notes on Camino explain that it is speci-
fically the Opus Dei branch of the church that goads the suffering of its lead character into untenable regions, even having recently sat through the dreadful Angels & Demons, I could not begin to differentiate the Church's Opus Dei from any of its many members wearing cap and gown. They all look and act like churchmen to me, and for that matter do the same damage. And in any case, I believe that the Church must take responsibility for its lunatic spin-offs and the consequences, just as must the jerks from the major television networks who, some years back, blessed us with the "new" idea of reality TV.
ily's life, and slowly we begin to understand just what a monster this mother is. For her daughters' own good, of course, she has stolen and lied in order to force her girls into a religious life. It is to the great credit of actress Elias that she makes this woman, no matter what she does, at all times believable and human, if not humane. How does anyone become this enthralled to religion? The movie can't begin to answer that question but this actress certainly make us understand that such a transgression is possible. As for the Church and its little plan for Camino -- the film is said to be based on a real case of a young woman who is now being consi-
dered for canonization -- well, this version of The Lives of the Saints would have made the Church's "condemned" list of my youth.