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  • A filmmaker investigates stories of her controversial great-grandfather, former president of Mexico.

    A filmmaker investigates stories of her controversial great-grandfather, former president of Mexico.

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  • Historian Jean Meyer describes how notions of revolution, history, and memory inform the film.

    Historian Jean Meyer describes how notions of revolution, history, and memory inform the film.

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  • General Plutarco Elias Calles with General Alvaro Obregon.

    General Plutarco Elias Calles with General Alvaro Obregon.

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  • General Plutarco Elias Calles during his presidential campaign. Mexico, 1923.

    General Plutarco Elias Calles during his presidential campaign. Mexico, 1923.

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  • Protesting electoral fraud after the 2006 presidential elections. Mexico City, July 2006.

    Protesting electoral fraud after the 2006 presidential elections. Mexico City, July 2006.

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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.

The Filmmaker

  1. Natalia AlmadaProducer/Director