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The General (2009)
"El general" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 53 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 3 critic

The glimpse into the life of Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles.

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Directors: Natalia Almada, Ivan Boccara, and 6 more credits »
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Storyline

Past and present collide as filmmaker Natalia Almada brings to life audio recordings she inherited about her great-grandfather, General Plutarco Elías Calles, a revolutionary general who became president of Mexico in 1924. Time is blurred in this visually arresting portrait of a family and country living under the shadows of the past. Written by Daniela Alatorre

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3 December 2010 (Mexico)  »

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The General  »

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Difficult task, great accomplishment
7 December 2010 | by (Peru) – See all my reviews

What do you know about your great-grandfather? At best, some fragmented memories that you received from others. Now, imagine that your great-grandfather was the president of the country and you want to make a film about him. What do you do? The only thing you have are some old audio tapes where the president's daughter tries, not very successfully, to remember and portrait her father, and you don't really have any of the privileged access that one would assume for being a part of the family. This is the challenge that Natalia Almada had to face for this film.

Almada approaches the problem with grace and intelligence. More filled with questions than answers, the director tries to look at the past, as much as possible: she includes a good amount of historical footage, looks at period newspapers, and gets the most of the old tapes. But she also is at all times looking at the present, exploring the fascinating carnival and chaos that Mexico city is today. For some strange reason, the two lines of the documentary, the past and the present, although almost belonging to two different movies, end up matching quite well. It is the magic of film, or at least, of Almada's film.


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