Norbert Witte once had a dream to turn Spreepark in the Berlin district of Treptow-Köpenick into the largest amusement park in Germany. Instead, this fun fair fief ended up bankrupting the park. In 2002, he moved to Peru with his family and a large part of the fairground rides, leaving behind a pile of scrap metal and a mountain of debt for the city of Berlin.
But the big break he had been hoping for in Peru never materialises. After taking up with the Peruvian mafia, Witte returns to Berlin. However, their drug trafficking scam is discovered and Witte’s son Marcel is apprehended in Peru. Witte is arrested in Berlin and begins a lenient sentence at an open prison. Meanwhile in Peru his son Marcel is sentenced to twenty years in one of the harshest and most dangerous prisons in the world. His chances of survival are very slim.
The fortunes of Norbert Witte are at the centre of this documentary that charts the ups and downs of the man and his family. Witte comes across as a likeable showman and diehard optimist who would never forsake his family; a man who is still full of plans for the future. But how does he (and his family) cope with the way he has apparently gambled away his son’s life? Is Norbert Witte addicted to dreams, or is he a visionary entrepreneur who is al­ways somehow scuppered by circumstances? Peter Dörfler’s film traces the Witte family’s story in Berlin and Lima and follows their struggle to secure their son’s release.
by Peter Dörfler Germany 2008 98’

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