The Last Conquistador


Episode Info

South Dakota-born sculptor John Houser made history - and stirred up a wealth of controversy - for his successful attempt to create and mount the tallest bronze equestrian statue in the world. The controversy sprang largely from the subject: long-forgotten Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, branded a terrorist and a genocidal architect by some, praised as a Hispanic hero by others. With their documentary The Last Conquistador, filmmakers Cristina Ibarra and John Valadez plunge into the fray at the heart of this controversy and simply observe the quarreling factions, listening to the arguments as they keep another eye fixed on Houser during the sculpting process. He is depicted as a man on the verge of discovering an ambiguous truth about his subject that lies poised somewhere between two extreme interpretations.