March 26 – April 5, 2020


In 1528, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca crossed the Gulf of Mexico on a raft made of melted armor and slaughtered horses. Over the next eight years, experiences with various Native American groups transformed him from conquistador to shamanic healer. When he returned to Spain he wrote La Relación, a chronicle of his experiences in the “New World”. Using these writings and the help of a psychic medium, RiverRun alum David Fenster (Pincus) attempts to communicate with Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca through a prickly pear cactus, also known as opuntia, the plant that saved him from starvation.

Fenster’s geographic and historical rumination, wondrously inventive and unclassifiable by design, follows de Vaca’s route from Florida to Texas to Chihuahua, tracing the physical markers of his journey and exploring history’s echoes and fictions encountered along the way.

–Christopher Holmes

Director David Fenster to be in attendance for all screenings!