Cabeza de Vaca on the Big Screen and in Books

I thought there had to be a film version of Cabeza de Vaca’s narrative–and sure enough, there is.  I had difficulty locating an English-language trailer, but I think you can pretty much follow the action here.  In my thorough research into the critical reception of this film (okay, I perused the 1-star reviews) the dominant complaint seems to be that the film is an artful piece of egregiously stylized allegory, not a historically true rendering of Cabeza de Vaca’s account.  But then, to what extent is Cabeza de Vaca’s account “historically true”?   Many of your posts considered the layers of artifice here, the purposeful shaping of memory, the selective inclusion and exclusion of certain details.

Because his story contains so many intriguing situations, and yet is a bit thin on a more engaged or pathos-heavy engagement with the material, the story lends itself to fictionalization of all forms.  It would be fascinating to survey the various version of this story–its many revisionary retellings for various audiences across time in different media.  Sounds like a pretty interesting 20% project, actually.  Any takers ? Okay, here’s the trailer, followed by some book covers:

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