PRODS Thomas Thielsch, Franziska Reck
SCR Dario Aguirre
CAM Santiago Oviedo , Dario Aguirre
ED Julia Drache
MUS Daniel Almada, Dario Aguirre
PROD CO Filmtank / Reck Filmproduktion / Norddeutscher Rundfunk / Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen
Long a German resident, filmmaker Dario Aguirre gets called home to Ecuador to help save his father’s grill from bankruptcy. As the vegetarian son and meat-loving father circle each other warily amidst talk of spread sheets and the advantages of wholesale, a humorous and deeply touching family odyssey emerges.
Once he’s back in Ecuador, Aguirre’s images say it all: the restaurant is part of an unfinished building, situated in a poor area and, though popular, is clearly ailing. Initially, Aguirre focuses on what needs to be done and on his relationship with his father and family. As the film progresses, however, we begin to appreciate the struggle within him to reconcile the European culture he has assimilated over his 10 years in Germany and that of his father and his community. He comes to understand how the restaurant, his father and his colleagues are at the centre of a world: that they do much more than just feed the customers, that the latter have come to depend on them. The failure of the business would have far-reaching consequences.
From the understated opening sequences, the film moves on to explore universal values: self-awareness, family ties, fulfillment and responsibility. Intensely moving, Aguirre’s simple, unsentimental documentary takes on the stature of a powerful, gripping drama.