|Directed by||Javier Fesser|
|Produced by||Luis Manso|
|Written by||Javier Fesser|
|Running time||143 minutes|
Camino is a 2008 Spanish film directed by Javier Fesser. The film is based on the real story of Alexia González-Barros, a girl who died from spinal cancer at fourteen in 1985 and is currently in process of canonization.
The film is controversial because Alexia's siblings said it was a distortion of the girl's history. They also objected to Fesser's use of Alexia's full name in his dedication, despite him having undertaken not to directly identify her. He calls her Camino ('the way') in the film, referencing 'the way' to sainthood she apparently undergoes.
More significantly, Fesser portrays the Catholic organisation, Opus Dei, in a negative way, depicting it as an extreme cult destroying families. Fesser suggests that Opus Dei manipulated the tragedy of the young Camino's painful death for its own ends. Her elder sister is an Opus Dei acolyte, deliberately kept from contacting her family. Suppressing open signs of normal maternal grief, the mother seems almost inhuman in urging her dying daughter to 'offer up' her suffering for Jesus. The father struggles to protect his daughter from a concerted effort to canonise her (even before her death) by his wife, elder daughter, and Opus Dei officials. Even the hospital medical staff seem to be complicit in this. Opus Dei said the film was "biased and false" in its presentation of the "attitudes, sentiments and intentions" of the organization's members.
In a subversive irony, Fesser suggests that Camino's 'Jesus', whose name she invokes, is not Christ, but a teenage boy named Jesus (a common name in Spain and other Spanish speaking countries) on whom Camino has a normal schoolgirl crush. This is shown in dream sequences she experiences throughout the film.
In reaction to the film, director Pedro Delgado in 2011 released a documentary about the life of Alexia González-Barros, including video footage from her family's archives.
Awards and nominations
Goya Awards (Spain)
- Won: Best Actor – Supporting Role (Jordi Dauder)
- Won: Best Breakthrough Actress (Nerea Camacho)
- Won: Best Actress (Carme Elías)
- Won: Best Director (Javier Fesser)
- Won: Best Film
- Won: Best Screenplay – Original (Javier Fesser)
- Nominated: Best Visual Effects
- "Family members deplore filmmaker’s distortion of girl under consideration for sainthood". CNA.
- "Opus Dei statement regarding the film Camino" (in Spanish). Opus Dei Information Bureau in Spain.
- "Especial Premios Goya 2009" (in Spanish). El País.
- "The real story of Alexia" (in Spanish). La Razon.