The Last Conquistador
This film uses the construction of a monument to Spanish conquistador Juan de Onate to examine complex questions about mestizo identity, on-going inequalities, the meaning of public art and the recognition of dignity and humanity of Native people.
Renowned sculptor John Houser has a dream: to build the world's tallest bronze equestrian statue for the city of El Paso, Texas. He envisions a stunning monument to Spanish conquistador Juan de Onate that will honor the contributions Hispanic people made to building the American West. But as the project nears completion, troubles arise. Native Americans are outraged -- they remember Onate as the man who brought genocide to their land and sold their children into slavery. As El Paso divides along lines of race and class in The Last Conquistador, the artist must face the moral implications of his work.
Program Length: 70 minutes
Production Staff: Producers/Directors: John J. Valadez and Cristina Ibarra
Production Companies: The Kitchen Sync Group, Inc. & Valadez Media
Educational Resources: Discussion Guide
Public Broadcast Release: July 2008
Tags: historical, public art, Mestizo identity, Southwest, pueblos
Product ID: LAST-08-H