One culture's Washington, another's Genghis Khan
As the film shows, progress was challenged by Houser's fear of glaucoma-induced blindness. For Valadez, it was a turning point in shaping a theme for the film: "His [Houser's] problem was he was so focused on making his own place in history that he was blind to the social implications of his work. His own hubris was his downfall. It's the Greeks all over again."
As it turns out, Houser didn't go blind ("I don't have glaucoma; it was misdiagnosed," he explained), but as the film relates, he lacked the insight to understand the emotional response to his work. The documentary suggests that the artist is a modern-day Oñate in terms of his single-minded determination to do what he felt was right for himself, and maybe El Paso, despite public outcry.
As an additional compromise, El Paso decided to change the sculpture's title from The Last Conquistador to The Equestrian. But, Ibarra said, "It's a lie. It's not The Equestrian. It's Juan de Oñate."
For more on the subject, see Best Indian Monuments to Topple.