Natalia Almada is a unique filmmaker. Born in Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother, she has made her career telling distinctly Mexican stories for a predominantly U.S. audience. From her break-out feature documentary, Al Otro Lado, which was featured on PBS’ POV series in 2006, to her most recent El Velador, Almada makes poetically-inclined documentaries that explore the complexity of life in a Mexico racked with violence and corruption.
Now available for streaming on the PBS website, her third feature, El General was the title that brought her the coveted Sundance Directors Award at the 2009 edition of that festival. Without a doubt her most personal work to date, El General is a lyrical essay-film that reflects on the memory of her great-grandfather, the controversial Mexican president Plutarco Elías Calles, and his ambivalent legacy in modern Mexico. Almada uses audio recordings of her grandmother (daughter of Calles), to reflect on the fine line between the personal and the political, the past and the present.
In addition to the numerous prizes and awards she has picked up over the years, in 2012 Almada was awarded the coveted MacArthur Genius Grant along with Junot Díaz — so you know what kind of company she keeps.
Don’t miss this rare opportunity to stream El General in its entirety and get a glimpse into the work of one of the great filmmakers of this generation.
El General will be available to stream on pbs.org until September 2, 2014.