Juan & Medio
Filmfest 2008

The personal is political: When young German documentary filmmaker Constanze Witt went to visit her extended family living in Chile, she found a fascinating microcosm of the country as a whole and its history between socialism and dictatorship. Her great-grandfather founded a truck stop restaurant named after himself, the JUAN Y MEDIO. (At 1.92 m in height, he was a titan among Chileans, which earned him the nickname "Juan and a half".) The restaurant was originally to be shared equitably between all five children, Norma, Juan, Hugo, Gladys and Betty, each taking turns running it for four years. But when socialist Salvatore Allende came to power, Hugo became the organizer of a nationwide truckers' strike against collectivization, for which he was then handsomely rewarded by the Pinochet regime once it seized power. Leftist brother Juan, in contrast, was not only jailed by the junta, but also passed over by the family when dividing up the inheritance. 30 years later, the inner divisons of the country live on in silence between the siblings...

tags: Documentary


Director: Constanze Witt