Gael García to direct his second feature film

Chicuarotes, “a very dark comedy”
Gael García Bernal – Photo: Feature photography
César Huerta Ortiz
Mexico City
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Mexican actor, director, and producer Gael GarcÍa Bernal is preparing his second feature film Chicuarotes, an adventure that ends in tragedy.

Chicuarotes is set amid Xochimilco Lake in Mexico City. The peculiar title refers both to the inhabitants of San Gregorio Atlapulco and to a pepper cultivated there.

"The film has a festive characteristic that has to do with this place, where despite the problems, people always celebrate," assures Gael García between shootings.

Since November, Gael García has been shooting in San Gregorio Atlapulco, one of the most devastated neighborhoods in Xochimilco after the 7.1 magnitude quake that hit Mexico on Tuesday, September 19.

Chicuarotes is a “very dark comedy” about a group of teenagers “who are economically poor but not miserable or unhappy, basically living in paradise” growing up in Xochimilco.

Cagalera (Benny Emmanuel) and Moloteco (Gabriel Carbajal) are teenagers desperate to move up the social ladder and who want to escape from San Gregorio Atlapulco.

They've got their struck of luck when a friend tells them about his plan of buying a seat in the electricity union so they collect enough money to finally free themselves of their misery along with Sugehili (Leidi Gutiérrez), Cagalera's bride. Yet, things get complicated when reaching the violent world of adults.

Chicuarotes has been in development for two years now and when the earthquake struck the country, far from discouraging the production, it gave more reasons to work in San Gregorio Atlapulco, even amidst the debris.


San Gregorio Atlapulco amidst the debris

Volunteers have removed debris from some of the collapsed houses, yet the side effects of the earthquake remain
San Gregorio Atlapulco amidst the debrisSan Gregorio Atlapulco amidst the debris

If Déficit, a Mexican feature film and Bernal's debut as director, he tackled class issues while portraying the young Mexican bourgeoisie, then in Chicuarotes Bernal will provide an insightful portrait of Mexican life arising questions about class and society.


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