The Camino Voyage
Cert: PG; Now showing
Early on in The Camino Voyage writer, poet, adventurer Danny Sheehy says: “If you’re sensible all the time you’d never do anything.” He is at that point a man in his sixties sailing in a small boat from Ireland, along the west coast of France and down to Santiago in Galicia with three friends: fellow Kerrymen musician Brendan Begley, stonemason Breandan Moriarty and Kerry adoptee artist Liam Holden. For the final leg Moriarty was replaced by Glen Hansard, who described himself as a sub on a journey, the beginning of which was “30 to 40 times harder” than he imagined, but the film of which is beautiful, calming and life-affirming.
They built the naomhog, Naomh Gobnait, themselves and over six weeks in three Mays, from 2014 to 2016, they sailed the 2,500km of the different stretches of the journey. Along the way, they camp, meet people, play music and chat. Donal O’ceilleachair directs what is, as the Camino is intended to be, much more than just a physical journey. Each man offers snippets of their process, that you need to be free in yourself, that if you worried what people thought you’d never do it, grief, healing, being in the moment, but these are just sprinkled in, there is no heavy banana spiritual stuff, this is the story of an adventure based in Irish traditions and told largely as Gaeilge and it’s a pleasure and privilege to get to see people who just do things.
Cert: 15A; Now showing
I loved this. And as it won the Palme d’or this year I was not alone in my affection for this Japanese family drama from prolific writer-director Hirokazo Kore-eda. It’s deceptively simple, sweet, often funny, thoughtprovoking, moving but never mawkish and really accessible. Don’t let the prize or the subtitles, or the fact critics like it, put you off.
Apparently Osamu (Franky Lily) and his wife Nobuyo (Sakura Ando) live with Granny (Kirin Kiki who died in September) tweenage son Shota (Jyo Kairi) and Nobayo’s sister Aki (Mayu Matsuoka) in a ramshackle over crowded apartment. On their way back from a shoplifting foray, Osamu and Shota see a small girl locked out in the cold. They’ve clearly seen her before and decide to bring her back with them for some food. The family doesn’t make a fuss, they’re more interested in whether they got the right shampoo. They feed the little girl who turns out to be five and called Juri (Sasaki Miyu). She also turns out to be covered in scars and in no hurry to go home, so they keep for her for the night, and then a little longer. It’s not kidnapping if you don’t ask for a ransom.
Juri becomes part of a family we learn to know, character by appealing character, their unorthodox story told with a detail-speckled patience that builds quietly until it shifts gear into drama.
What does family mean? What does love mean? And what’s the deal with poverty? Shoplifters looks at it all.