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On Foot to Santiago de Compostela

A young college grad sets off from his village to follow the pilgrim trail.

With:
With: Roman Weishaupt.

Uncertain what to do after college, and needing a physical and emotional challenge to sort his head out, Roman Weishaupt sets off from his idyllic Swiss village to follow the pilgrim trail in Bruno Moll’s “On Foot to Santiago de Compostela.” Charming, unpretentious and free of religious theorizing, docu follows Weishaupt’s extraordinary 80-day, 1,367-mile walking journey from the Alps to the Pyrenees and beyond. A testament to determination as well as a window onto a centuries-old tradition, pic is ideal fare for Discovery Channel-type outlets.

Auds looking for pretty shots of Romanesque churches or intense discussions between pilgrims should go elsewhere: Weishaupt admits to an allergic reaction to religious conversations. Instead, docu is about personal determination and the fulfillment of private goals. Moll accompanied Weishaupt for 30 of the 80 days, through blisters, lost contact lenses and mild irritability to a sort of fugue state of self-realization. In the end, answering life’s big questions is less important than simply contemplating them, making for a refreshing perspective. Shots of the solitary protag against majestic landscapes are attractive but will look best on smallscreens.

On Foot to Santiago de Compostela

Switzerland - Poland

Production: A Frenetic Films release (in Switzerland) of a PS Film (Switzerland)/Federico Film, Polish Film Institut (Poland)/Schweizer Fernsehen (Switzerland) production. Produced by Peter Spoerri. Directed, written by Bruno Moll.

Crew: Camera (color, Beta SP), Moll, Roman Weishaupt; editor, Anja Bombelli; music, Wadi Gysi; sound, Balthasar Jucker, Rolf Buettikofer. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Critics' Week), Aug. 4, 2007. Original title: Zu fuss nach Santiago de Compostela. Romanche, German, French, Spanish, English dialogue. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Roman Weishaupt.

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