Filmmaker Pere Portabella shot and collected footage of the social and political situation at the time following the death of Franco. Remaining true to his cinematic stance, the filmmaker used feature film techniques to construct a truly historical document. Written by Portabella, his regular collaborator Octavi Pellissa and musician Carles Santos, who also composed the music, Informe General (General Report) invited politicians, trade union representatives, republicans, monarchists and exiles to reflect on the issues around the question of how to move from a dictatorship to a democracy based on the rule of law. The film presents a mosaic on the development of post-Francoism or the so-called “Spanish transition” without at the same time renouncing a certain awareness of what cinema should be.
As the filmmaker himself explained: “The central idea of this film originated in the same context in which it intends to situate itself: a complete lack of information, a result of an inaccessibility to mass media by important opinion sectors in the country. Cinema can contribute to increase the degree of awareness of the subjects that are essential for the future of our coexistence as citizens. This feature length film is not meant to be a documentary on the immediate past, but rather, the opposite. It is intended to be a reflection on and an approximation to our reality starting with the present, in which there undoubtedly have been substantial changes in both atmosphere and rhythm and in the creation process to which the whole country is committed. ”
In the face of the serious systemic, cultural, political, energy and economic crisis affecting Spain and an already globalised world in 2015, Pere Portabella decided to make a sequel of the film entitled General Report II: The New Abduction of Europe. It provides a testimony to the way civil society is emerging from this crisis with a new prominence that consists of ordinary people recovering politics.