“ll Push You” is an emotion packed documentary of two best friends, Justin and Patrick, hiking the 500-mile pilgrimage trail through France and Spain called the Camino de Santiago.
What makes this journey more challenging than most is Justin has a rare neurological disease that attacks his muscles and has left him in a wheelchair. Patrick is determined to help Justin reach his goal.
Leaving their wives and children at home, Justin and Patrick set off on their journey.
This is a tough trail for an energetic healthy person, yet Justin being in a wheelchair, and Patrick having to push him over 500 miles, leaves lots of room for many adventures and many tales, but maybe not what you might normally think.
Throughout the movie you see the beauty of the trail, the pain and the determination of the men to complete the 500 miles against the odds and against the advice of the locals. But there is so much more to this film that will touch everyone as you experience the tears, the laughter, the frustration, and the astounding friendship that moves them through the challenges.
“I’ll Push You’ is a raw, real look at friendship, marriages, faith, a crippling disease and the determination of each person (including Justin) to make the day-to-day decisions to not go “down the dark hole” of despair and giving up.
This film puts life into perspective. What is truly important? What does it mean to help others, to have community, to be friends for life, to be married? These are all questioned throughout the film.
I promise you there will not be a dry eye in the theatre after watching this film because of seeing how difficult and at the same time how beautiful life can be.
This film addresses love, friendships, death and loss and how to trust others, letting go of control, the importance of compassion and giving to others, and the power of determination.
The movie explores the depth of what the Camino de Santiago trails means for Justin and Patrick. Each is humbled with having to accept help, to love one another and question how am I going to be in life going forward, both in learning how to embrace life and how to let go of it.
Under the challenge of the trail lies the reality of Justin’s disease and his limited time on this earth, which both men hold close to their chest. It is difficult to not feel the physical and emotional pain and tribulations throughout the film along with the love and laughter and beauty of the friendship.
One of the most moving parts for me was the assistance of strangers and their willingness to help another. You will leave this movie with a new perspective of what life really is about and being committed to letting go of the small things.
The beauty of friendship stands out in this film and how two men can have a loving friendship that gets them through the 500-mile Camino de Santiago. Both learn that joy comes more from helping than from getting, that community is essential.
We live in a world where it is hard to ask for help, and often we miss out on an opportunity to feel connected, to feel alive by helping others. It is amazing what we can learn about ourselves by being a support for others. This is shown throughout the film, as strangers become part of Justin and Patrick’s journey.
“I’ll Push You” is a very moving film that will touch you in many ways. As one of the songs from the film says, “‘life is short, live it well.” Could not say it better myself.
Don’t miss this film. It has already sold out three Festival screenings on April 24, 25 and 26, so a fourth one has been added on April 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lido Theatre. Visit NewportBeachFilmFest.com for details.