Past and present collide as award-winning filmmaker Natalia Almada (Al Otro Lado, POV 2006) brings to life audio recordings she inherited from her grandmother, daughter of Plutarco Elías Calles, a revolutionary general who became Mexico's president in 1924. In his time, Calles was called El Jefe Maximo (Foremost Chief). Today he is remembered as El Quema-Curas (Priest Burner) and as a dictator who ruled through puppet presidents until his exile in 1936. Airing during the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, El General moves between a daughter's memories as she grapples with history's portrayal of her father and the weight of his legacy on Mexico today.
From death on the streets of Crown Heights to director Steven Spielberg's controversial visit to a predominantly black high school in East Oakland, the film resists simple analysis and treads provocatively on the fault lines of racial coalition and conflict.