Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
With little dialog and exquisite, almost documentary-like images, Cabeza de Vaca offers a fascinating (if not mystical and at times just plain puzzling) foray back to early 16th-century America as it chronicles the exploits of the explorer Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca as he spends eight years traversing the wild lands surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. The story itself is based on the book Naufragio, Cabeza de Vaca's personal account. Cabeza de Vaca was the ship's treasurer on an ill-fated expedition to America. Marooned on the densely jungled Florida coast he becomes the unwilling guest of the Iguase Indians (for added realism and to help audiences understand how Cabeza de Vaca felt, the Native speech is not translated). He is enslaved and much of the story centers on his coming to grips with his strange new life and the people around him. Eventually he is taken to a powerful Iguase shaman who teaches him the healing arts, skills he is able to put to amazing use during his amazing journey.
expedition, exploration, New-World, tribe, Shamanism