In 1910, a revolution swept through Mexico, overthrowing the despotic rule of Porfirio Diaz on the promise of a democratic government that would truly represent the will of the people. Plutarco Elias Calles was one of the key leaders of the Mexican Revolution, and he became the nation's president in 1924. While many cite Calles as one of the true fathers of modern Mexico, time has hardly been kind to his reputation; it is now known that he was Mexico <I>de facto</I> leader long after he left office as the power behind a handful of presidents, and that he often used brutal violence to silence his political enemies, including priests and nuns. Filmmaker Natalia Almada is the great-granddaughter of Calles, and through her family she came into possession of a truly singular heirloom -- recordings of Calles' daughter speaking at length about her father's life and work. Almada has used these rare recordings as the basis for El General, a documentary which compares and contrasts one family's portrait of the man they knew and the leader who is seen as a hero and a fiend by the nation he led, as well as examining the parallels between Mexico in 1910 and 2009. El General was an official selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
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