2009 1 x 83 min Color, B/W: various formats – mastered to DigiBeta English/Spanish
An Altamura Films production
Producer/Director: Natalia Almada
Co-Producer: Sarah Calles
Director of Photography: Chuy Chavez
Natalia Almada awarded ‘Best Director’ at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival (official selection)
Broadcast premiere on POV in 2010
Selected for the NALIP Media Market 2007
Awarded a Sundance Institute Post-Production Grant
“Nun-Burner,” “Dictator” or “Father of Modern Mexico?” Director Natalia Almada’s great grandfather, Plutarco Elias Calles was the president of Mexico from 1924 to 1928. Calles is one of Mexico’s most controversial historical figures; he was accused of trying to shut down the church, being a Marxist and was eventually exiled from his country. He was also responsible for pacifying the country after a long, bloody revolution and establishing many of Mexico’s modern institutions, including the PRI party that ruled for over 70 years until Mexico’s current President Fox won the elections in 2000.
El General is a lyrical exploration of Natalia Almada’s cultural inheritance as General Calles’ great granddaughter and the Mexico she lives in 80 years after his death. Almada’s grandmother, Alicia Calles, recorded a series of recollections of her life and times. Using her grandmother’s audiotapes, family films and photos and striking newsreel, Almada will take us on a journey into her family’s past and paint an intimate portrait of Mexico then and now.