Reflections on a Pilgrimage

It was Thomas a Kempis who said: ‘It is only the pilgrims who in the travails of their earthly voyage do not lose their way ………whether our planet be frozen or scorched; they are guided by the same prayers, and suffering, and fervour, and woe.’ 

Pilgrimage is a stunning 2001 short documentary film by renowned Germany director Werner Herzog; it is essentially an extended meditation on the words of a Kempis. Accompanied only by music, the film alternates between shots of pilgrims near the tomb of Saint Sergei in Sergiyev Posad, Russia and pilgrims at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico. The score is really something special and was composed by John Tavener and performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra with vocal accompaniment by Parvin Cox and the Westminster Cathedral Choir.

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