Tribeca Film Festival’s Premiere of The Gasoline Thieves (Huachicolero)

BY DEAN MOSES


Last week the Tribeca Film Festival kicked off with events including movie premieres, talks, video game previews, virtual reality experiences, and much more, many of which the Spring Creek Sun attended in order to bring you all the happenings from the world-famous festival. We begin our coverage with the world premiere of The Gasoline Thieves(winner of TFF’s 2019 Best New Narrative Director.) 


The directorial debut of Edgar Nito is a thriller that follows a young boy growing up in Mexico. Lalo (played by Eduardo Banda) lives in an impoverished household with his mother, mixing a job which sees him lugging gasoline and filling up machines while also juggling an education. Like any young person, Lalo has a crush, an infatuation that has sent him head over heels in love with a young lady at school. The problem is she doesn’t notice him, that is until he confronts her with a question: “Will you be my girlfriend?”


Ana (Regina Reynoso) and her friends laugh at the requisition. Ana wonders who this boy is, and how he could just accost them seemingly out of nowhere. The girls explain that he can’t just approach Ana, according to them he has to buy her a gift, such as a cell phone. Little do they know this seemingly innocent jest alters the course of Lalo’s life and sends him on a journey of self-destruction. Lalo begins attempting to gain her affections harmlessly enough—saving money in a piggy bank—but when that fails, he gets caught up with some local bandits: gasoline thieves. You see, in Mexico fuel prices have raised to an unaffordable degree for many residents, which has led to the rise of robbers who steal gasoline in order to make a profit. Initially, it seems like a decent way to make money for a young guy in love, that is until the illegal trade literally explodes before his eyes.


From here on out we explore how a good youngster is indoctrinated into a gang and before long faces severe repercussions. We can easily apply this issue to any country, any group of youths anytime, and through it we learn the tragic story of those lost boys and girls who become transfixed by the allure of promised riches. It’s tragic to watch Lalo gradually comprehend the mistakes he’s made, not to mention the frantic desperation as he at-tempts to somehow resolve the horrific events that have unfolded. This heart-pounding narrative is strung together by impressive cinematography and riveting acting skills by a talented cast. The Gasoline Thieves is not an action-packed piece, but it does have some startling visuals with an ending that will stick with the viewer for months to come.


The Spring Creek Sun was on hand at the Village East Cinema red carpet premiere to talk with director Edgar Nito and capture photos of the stars arriving.


Spring Creek Sun (SCS): Could you tell us what inspired you to create this film?
Edgar Nito (EN): This film is about what is happening in a town where I grew up. People steal gasoline from the pipelines. A few years ago I started to learn about that when I returned to my hometown, so I want to try to show the world. Now it’s a huge problem in Mexico. The president, just this year, declared a war on these gasoline thieves so the movie is very real.


SCS: The ending is very powerful. Without spoiling anything, could you talk about how you came to that ending?
EN: The characters motivations are to be rich. Every action has a reaction, so for me it was really clear that he has to pay for his actions—I am trying not to spoil it.(laughs)


SCS: Could you also tell us what it is like for you to be at the Tribeca Film Festival, seeing it has such a rich history?
EN: We are really happy and excited! It’s my first time at Tribeca, so when we knew it was here we couldn’t believe it.


Photos by Dean Moses