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Chicuarotes. ¿What is a chicuarote?

*Chicuarote is a type of chili endemic to southern Mexico City that is grown in the town of San Gregorio Atlapulco, so the gentile that has been given to its inhabitants is that of “chicuarotes”. Despite the poor conditions, this crop is resilient and very strong, characteristics that it is said to share with the locals.

This is the most appropriate explanation we have for the name of this hard but excellent feature film directed by Gael García Bernal and written by Augusto Mendoza.

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Chicuarotes is a film that adds much to the cinematic tradition of social criticism that generates so much echo in the collective imagination. Especially since it is a tape that, without any remorse, puts on the table the reality so obscenely voracious that you live in the capital of the country.

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Mexico City is one of the largest megalopolises in the world and an economic and cultural benchmark, both within the country and throughout Latin America; however, this work manages to unmask the myth of happy, enthusiastic youth with a bright future ahead of it; just as it completely breaks with the farce of success stories from poor and violent contexts, based on blind meritocracy that does not recognize the real narratives that young Mexicans live in.

El Cagalera and Moloteco are two teenagers from San Gregorio Atlapulco, a town that, despite being part of Mexico City, does not share the economic or cultural benefits of it. Therefore, fed up with the spiral of misery that is not over and motivated by the idea of escaping the mud in which the people retain them, young people decide to devote themselves to minor crime, but the opportunity to take real economic gain, the shores to perpetrate a kidnapping that traces the end of their lives as they know it.

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While all this takes place, the inhabitants of San Gregorio have their own problems ranging from alcoholism, machismo and minor crime, to the harshest domestic violence, which has its main axis in the House of the Cagalera. The mother of the stunned teenager constantly suffers the mistreatment of her husband, for whom fate has prepared one of the most beautiful and harsh deaths of Mexican cinema, perpetrated nothing more and nothing less than by his own wife.

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The Moloteco, on the other hand, is a young man abandoned to his fate who survives thanks to the routines of jokes that, together with the Cagalera, carries out in the microbuses of the city; however, he is also a faithful accomplice in the criminal acts in which history envelops them.

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Through these stories, it is easy to guess that the Cagalera and the Moloteco are the young people that the city does not embrace. The outcasts who walk up and down getting money at all costs, are those who, by force of ignoring them, decide that they do not exist in our daily bubble.

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Finally, it is worth mentioning that this film presents one of the most striking beginnings of Mexican cinema. In just three minutes, the work is able to unfold the historical atmosphere that is lodged in the stomach, both of these individuals, and of the citadin collective, for whom unfortunately, these scenarios on public transport are anything but fiction.

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The film is a look at the hearts of the thousands of teenagers who have adopted the narrative of migration and forgetfulness, of the same forgetfulness in which the state keeps them and their communities.

Author avatar
Frida Librado
CDMX (1993). Escribo poesía y soy profesora. Pienso que el sexo ES porque nos mantiene vivos, así que siéntete bienvenido a leerme. Soy una cocinera aficionada y también licenciada en Escritura creativa y Literatura

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