Kiwi Julie Zafireh is one of six New Zealanders and Australians featured in new fly-on-the-wall documentary Camino Skies which has sold out across the Doc Edge Film Festival. If you missed tickets, Camino Skies will be released in cinemas nationwide from Thursday 11th July.
Grandparents NZ speaks with Julie Zafireh.
What made you decide to be featured in the film Camino Skies?
As is the motivation for many people, I suspect, I had watched the movie The Way back in 2010 when it came out. At the time this movie really spoke to me – the thought of taking time out of an exceptionally busy life and just…walking….for the benefits of fitness, a significant challenge out of one’s comfort zone, ‘time-out’ to consider where life was taking me etc. Fast forward seven years, and I literally just stumbled across the ad regarding walking the Camino with a group, for the purposes grief/catharsis…and as part of a documentary. To be honest, the latter was less of an attraction than the timing and structure offered. I never considered the potential far reaching and positive/powerful messages that others might get from watching this documentary, as it very much is all about hope – no matter what life might throw at you.
You have had an unfair amount of grief in your life, was the Camino something you wanted to do prior to this?
Yes! The Camino de Santiago had been sitting quietly on my bucket list for quite some time, so…call it the ‘perfect storm’ of events that allowed it to happen if you like. (“Perfect” probably not the ideal word to use in the situation I found myself in).
Can you describe the feeling of completing the Camino de Santiago?
The feeling of finishing the Camino can very much be described as a hodge podge of mixed emotions plus, plus plus! Relief, pride, exhaustion, regret (of finishing), excitement of getting home, but probably the most powerful of these being an enormous sense of accomplishment at a big feat achieved, and achieved well! I, personally, fared very well in terms of my feet behaving well, carrying my pack the entire way, no health issues along the way.
Is this something you would do again?
As we walked we came across several trekkers undertaking the Camino again and I have to admit to thinking, and no doubt, proclaiming, why on earth would you!? BUT- ironically… here I am , just putting the finishing touches to the planning of my repeat Camino – the Portuguese coastal Camino, later this year! It is a feeling that is hard to explain. The Camino DOES lure you. There is just so much to be said for the simplicity of life on the Camino, and the opportunity to pare it all back to basics. It is hugely compelling, once you get in to the swing of it.
How did you feel watching the film?
Again the word pride comes to mind. The film is a raw and real portrayal of a distinct period in my life, and I feel honoured and proud that those 5 weeks have been immortalised in film….for both my family, and friends…but also for complete strangers who hopefully will pick up on the messages of hope, humour and positivity – even in extreme adversity. I also feel terribly nostalgic for those days, and for my fellow team -as I watch the film. I have huge fondness of reach and every one of them – we forged a unique and special bond that will never fade.
Camino Skies will be in cinemas nationwide from Thursday 11th July