El General

Natalia Almada brings to life audio recordings about her great-grandfather a revolutionary general who became president of Mexico in 1924.

Film Signature Image
POV, Global Voices
Premiere Date
July 20, 2010
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2009 Sundance Film Festival-Directing Award for US Documentary
  • Producer/Director

    Natalia Almada

    Natalia Almada was born in Mexico. Her directing credits include All Water Has a Perfect Memory, an internationally recognized experimental short, and Al Otro Lado, an award-winning feature documentary about immigration and drug trafficking that appeared on P.O.V. in 2006. Her work has screened at Sundance, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Show more Biennial, as well as on ARTE and PBS. Almada is a 2008 Guggenheim fellow and has received support from Creative Capital, the Sundance Institute and the MacDowell Colony, among others. She shares her time between Mexico and Brooklyn. Show less

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    The Film

    Past and present collide as award-winning filmmaker Natalia Almada brings to life audio recordings she inherited about her great-grandfather Plutarco Elias Calles, a revolutionary general who became Mexico’s president in 1924. In his time, Calles was called “El Bolshevique” and “El Jefe Maximo” (the foremost chief). Today, he is remembered as “el Quema-Curas” (priest-burner) and as a dictator who ruled through puppet presidents until he was exiled in 1936. Through Almada’s grandmother’s recordings, El General moves between memories of a daughter grappling with history’s portrait of her father and the weight of his legacy on the country today.