Don Francisco in the 80’s: “The future is choosing the things you love”
The stillness of the epidemic prompted Don Francisco to reflect on his life and career and write a book about his “last path of existence”: “With a Will to Live”.
His great advice to new generations is the same as that he gives to his grandchildren: “One has to evolve. There are many things that have changed, and a person must evolve. But within this development there is something that I can recommend that has served me since I started work, which is perseverance because You fall a few times, but you have to come back. This isn’t always possible, but if possible, try to do whatever you want. When I was younger, I believed that one should look for a profession that has some future. No. The future is choosing the things you love. This has a future. “
Within 80 years of his life (born December 28, 1940), the Chilean TV presenter, whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger, remembers his on-screen beginnings in 1962, his unification on Channel 13 with “Sábado Gigante” and his subsequent international success on Univision.
He is also rebuilding through a thorough investigation into his father’s arrest in the Buchenwald concentration camp in 1938 and his journey on immigration to Chile, something he barely learned about last year because, like many Jewish Holocaust survivors, his father rarely wanted to talk about the topic and The data Don Francisco had was wrong.
In a preface, he admits that he feels “a bit overwhelmed” now because he has not completed his days producing his show: “Sábado Gigante” launched in 2015 and since then his famous host has appeared intermittently on screen.
He writes, “I do not know very well what I will spend the hours on, how I will feel in this new stage, and in what way will I adapt to the inevitable chronological changes that life imposes.”
Over the course of nearly 400 pages, he provided his opinion of US presidents from Ronald Reagan to Joe Biden and their relationship to immigration, recalling what was his last “giant sabbath” and even opening up about his first experience with a psychiatrist who was last year in times of a pandemic.
His book “With the Will to Live” is his fourth book after “Who Am I” (1987), “Between the Sword and Television” (2002) and “The First Eighteen Years of the Giant Sabbath,” and it is more than just a book, it was almost a magazine, he said. In a recent interview.
Posted this week by the Aguilar Poster for Penguin Random House in Chile, Mexico and the United States, and is also available as an audiobook narrated by the same author.
In an extended telephone interview from Miami, Don Francisco spoke about his life after television, his impression upon learning the true story of his father and his current interest: the future of Telethon de Chile, who since 1978 has supported thousands of children. And youth with disabilities, which has served as a model for other countries.
Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
AP: Don Mario, tell me a little bit about the process of writing this book.
Don Fransisco: In the beginning I was alone in my house for several months without moving, something that had never happened to me in my life. I’m a man, and in addition to exercising first thing in the morning, which I still do, I left my house and didn’t come back until nearly midnight. I had a lot to do in so many places, and my day was complete. But being there without moving made me think, and I thought there, “I have to write a book because I want to live, because I want to say everything I’ve learned.” Then little by little I began writing chapters and thoughts about things. I work with a journalist named Marcelo Amonategui and I told him, “Come on, help me write fiction,” and so we started.
AP: You were very touched to learn that only in the last year you learned so much about your father that you did not know him.
DON FRACISCO: This was at the request of Marcelo, who always argued with me that my father could not be in (concentration camp) Bergen-Belsen … “Because Bergen-Belsen was built after your father’s arrival in Chile. He said. The problem is that he was able to communicate. In Buchenwald, and in Buchenwald the person in charge of the tunnels is a Chilean named Pamela Castillo and she finally brought us the list and said, “This is the day your father came, this is the day your father left.” With that, I was able to gather other bits of information that I didn’t have and make the story The complete document is included in this book, in a chapter titled “Prisoner 27170”.
AP: How was this discovery for you?
Don Francisco: Well, it was so shocking! I am in the last stage of my life and I only know and see, for example, the picture of these 11,000 people who were arrested that day on the Night of Broken Glass, the treatment they gave them, how they cut their hair to zero, and made them walk in the snow in the first year, a very large number died. Of people. So of course, it was very shocking for me to not only learn about (my father’s) history but to learn the history of this field.
AP: Was it helpful to write this book? How did you feel when I was done with it?
Don Francisco: Very good. It’s an open-heart book, let’s say. It is not a book for me to make myself, as they say vulgar in my country, the beautiful country. No, it is to tell the truth of how I am feeling, what I felt and still feel.
AP: If you could summarize in one sentence what was the most important thing you learned over the years, what would it be?
Don Francisco: There are a lot of new things that have happened to me in this pandemic year. For example, around the end of the book I joined a psychiatrist. I have never talked to a psychiatrist! I felt like I needed to reach out to someone to find out how I had turned my new life around. For 57 years I worked daily and my mind was just devoted to television. This was my job, my job that I got up and went to bed, and suddenly I was left alone at home to meditate. Well, since I’ve never spoken to a psychiatrist, the psychiatrist makes me think of things I’ve never thought of that open my mind. Unfortunately, I might start talking to the psychiatrist near the end of the book, so I only list it at the end.
AP: I know that not only your software was very important to you, but also Telethon. I understand it is currently one of your greatest interests.
Don Francisco: It’s my biggest concern, because it’s something we’ve built. I think, and I’m not sure what to say, but I think it’s a unique case in world communication that we have been able to do in a small country. When Telethon started we were 12 million people and now we are 19 … for 40 years, from serving 5% of the children of Santiago we serve 93% of children (from Chile) and from there was an international organization born called Oritel, which covers 16 countries that make Telethon inspired. Of those in Chile. I have to be very satisfied with what we have achieved (we have achieved) – I am a participant, because this does not become a person, but I am very proud to be able to participate.
AP: Do you feel Telethon is in safe hands to keep going?
Don Francisco: I would say this is the last year I still have to be in an important position, but then I think this has to change the generation. I said it in all tones, as long as my physical and mental capabilities allow for it, I will cooperate with this because that has been one of the most important things in my life.