Sangre de Cristo

16mm and HD; 26 min; 2011.

In Sangre de Cristo, the mountains of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico are examined as a site where embedded layers of oppositional history converge and are revealed through traces of the past in the present landscape. These include the 18th century conflict between the Comanche chief Cuerno Verde and Spanish colonialists, seen through interpretive markers and place names as well as a play on horseback; the Espinosa brothers, who claimed that the Virgin Mary inspired them to murder Anglo settlers in the wake of the Mexican-American war; an interview with an anarchist activist who moved with his wife to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to live a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle on horseback in the 1970s; and documentation of counterculture architecture in the contemporary landscape that serves as material evidence of the new ways of life envisioned by people drawn to the region. Throughout, words drawn from Rudolph Wurlitzer’s novel, The Drop Edge of Yonder, form a parallel narrative of life in the Sangres.

Watch an excerpt