Although some scenes were re-enacted after the fact, this is a real documentary on the struggle of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa to overthrow dictator Porfirio Díaz . Directors Christy Cabanne and Raoul Walsh took a camera crew to Mexico during the Mexican Revolution of 1912 and traveled with Villa, filming footage of his army on the march and engaged in battle with federal troops (director Walsh confirmed in an interview the long-rumored story that Villa insisted on the filming of execution by firing squad of several dozen federal prisoners, but that when he returned to Hollywood the studio thought the footage too grisly and cut it out). Written by
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American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. has announced plans for a film to be called "Life of Villa", the story behind the making of this film, which was the first documentary film about, and with, Pancho Villa
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Followed by The Life of General Villa