Opening 3 Oct 2013
Dario Aquirre, originally from Ecuador, came to Hamburg to study film at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (HFBK). After ten relatively carefree years in Hamburg, he received a call from his father in Ecuador that the family restaurant Cesar’s Grill was in the red and quickly going downhill financially. Aquirre senior had expected that Dario would have followed in his footsteps and taken over the restaurant, but, no, the son had to go off to Europe and study film. Ruefully Aquirre junior books a flight and returns to his family.
Aquirre documents customers, co-workers, and naturally his hard-working but jovial father and his mother, who sadly passes away during filming. He captures the atmosphere of the neighborhood, and, in the end, the restaurant is still on uncertain footing, but definitely up and running, which seems to be quite acceptable, especially in this easy-going culture, where the accepted norm is perhaps different than that of cold northern Europe, for example. This a an interesting film about a family where the son, influenced by German culture perhaps, is immersed in the computer, spreadsheets, and long-term planning, while the father lives by friendships, generosity, and making do. (Becky Tan)