Artist Projects

El General

Natalia Almada

El General is a feature-length documentary that combines personal and family history with archival footage and sound recordings, photographs and newspaper clippings. Almada’s film uses her ancestors’ lives to explore Mexico’s history; her great-grandfather was Plutarco Elias Calles, known alternately as “The Father of Modern Mexico,” and a brutal dictator. Her grandmother began, but did not finish, an autobiography in 1978. The documentary illuminates the differences between Mexico under Calles and today, as well as Almada’s personal conception of history as compared to the official version of events. At its core, El General is about the imagined past, emphasizing inconsistencies between memory and fact.

Project Updates

  • 2010: An educational DVD version of El General is distributed by Women Make Movies

  • 2010: El General has theatrical release in Mexico

  • 2010: El General has its broadcast premiere on PBS’s P.O.V. on July 20 and will be available for viewing online from July 21 – September 4

  • 2010: El General screens at Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of Creative Capital film festival

  • 2007: El General is screened at the Tribeca Film Institute All Access Alumni Screening

  • 2007: El General is screened at the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar at Colgate University