Pilgrimage and Backpacking in the 21st Century

Documentary film / 2013

95 min. / Swiss, German, English, Spanish, French with English Subtitles



International Anthropological Filmfestival Ho Chi Minh City / Vietnam

   (Pre-Screening 2012)

International Ethnographic Filmfestival Kratovo / Macedonia (2013)

Intimate Lens - Festival of Visual Anthropology, Caserta / Italy (2013)

Days of Ethnografic Film, Ljubljana / Slovenia (2014)

Espiello Muestra de Documental Etnografico, Boltana / Spain (2014)

Centre for Religion, Economy and Politics, Zurich / Switzerland (2014)

NAFA Int. Ethnographic Film Festival, Isafjordur / Iceland (2014)

European Association of Social Anthropologists, Conference and

   Festival, Tallinn / Estonia (2014)

Road Art Festival, Varbuse / Estonia (2014)

Infocenter Triglavska, Bled / Slovenia (2014)

Regard Bleu Ethnographic Filmfestival, Zurich / Switzerland (2014)

Etnofilm Cadca – International Festival on Ethnology and

   Anthropology, Cadca / Slovakia (2014)

House of Religions, Berne / Switzerland (2014)

Ethnofest – Athens Ethnographic Film Festival / Greece (2014)

Antropofest – International Festival of Movies with Anthropological      

   Themes, Prague / Czech Republic (2015)

Trento Film Festival, Trento / Italy (2015)

RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, Bristol / UK (2015)

Opuzen Film Festival, Opuzen / Croatia (2015)

International TV Festival Bar, Bar / Monte Negro (2015)

Visual Fest, Universita Degli Studi Roma Tre, Rome / Italy (2015)


Premio Menzione Speziale, Visual Fest, Universita Degli Studi

   Roma Tre, Rome / Italy (2015)


Whereas the label of «pilgrim» is still mostly associated with devout persons leaving home for purely religious motives, young people taking to the road as «backpackers» are generally perceived as pleasure seeking globetrotters. Questioning these stereotypes, anthropologist and filmmaker Tommi Mendel followed one young woman along the Way of St. James through France and Spain and another one along backpacking-routes through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Documenting their experiences and encounters over a period of three years, this film reveals intriguing parallels on various levels between what at first glance appear as two different ways of travelling.



Tommi Mendel

director, research, interviews, camera, sound, editing

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