This episode is Part 1 of a two part series with Annie O’Neil and Phil Volker.
You may know Annie O’Neil from the documentary WALKING THE CAMINO: SIX WAYS TO SANTIAGO where she was a featured pilgrim as well as co producer.
Since then she has directed and produced the award winning PHIL’S CAMINO, a film about a man who dreams of walking the Camino but cannot, due to suffering from stage 4 cancer.
So he did the next best thing, he created his own Camino in the forest behind his house.
She knew right away that his story could be inspiring to so many, so she convinced him to let her make a film about his backyard Camino. PHIL’S CAMINO had its World Premiere at SXSW and has won approximately 20 awards since then.
At 28 minutes it packs a strong emotional punch and has inspired many many people all over the world. Her new film DEAR CONGRESS has started its own festival run, and she hopes that both these films will be viewed in Washington DC at a Congressional screening. She is currently working on a screenplay as well as a longer version of PHIL’S CAMINO.
Its a fascinating story and Annie shares it with Project Camino.
He’s a veteran, husband, father, outdoorsman, and Catholic. He also has Stage IV cancer.
For years, Phil dreamt of walking the 500-mile ancient pilgrimage route across Spain, El Camino de Santiago. Although this was an unattainable dream due to weekly chemo treatments, it did not stop him from walking. Crafting a path through wood and pasture on his 10-acre plot of land on Vashon Island, Seattle, Phil re-creates the Camino path in his own backyard. After each 0.88 km lap, Phil plots his progress on a Camino map. As he measures his daily steps towards the end destination of Santiago, Phil finds that the rhythm of walking presents healing in a way he had never experienced before.
Through the act of walking, Phil learns to stop fighting to cure his cancer, and embraces physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. For those who have the tremendous privilege of taking part in Phil’s journey, it is evident that he does not allow circumstances to define him; but views cancer as a catalyst to a life of rich moments in the tension of suffering and gratitude. Phil’s Camino captures Phil’s story from Vashon to Spain and back again. His determined character, life of simplicity, and joy in the everyday presents a story of what it means to live vibrantly in the face of adversity.
Do you want to be around other pilgrims in a non judgemental & supportive space?
Do you want to share how it feels to return from your Camino in an environment that you will always be supported & encouraged?