Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Synopsis: In 1994, a group of scientists discovered a cave in Southern France perfectly preserved for over 20,000 years and containing the earliest known human paintings. Knowing the cultural significance that the Chauvet Cave holds, the French government immediately cut-off all access to it, save a few archaeologists and paleontologists. But documentary filmmaker, Werner Herzog, has been given limited access, and now we get to go inside examining beautiful artwork created by our ancient ancestors around 32,000 years ago. He asks questions to various historians and scientists about what these humans would have been like and trying to build a bridge from the past to the present.
Director(s): Werner Herzog
Production: IFC Films
  11 wins & 20 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
90 min

will have no hiding places

to get out of the shot.

The first large chamber

we come to

is the original entrance

to the cave.

In prehistoric times,

before the rock slide,

daylight must have

illuminated this.

- So on the left

when we arrived inside the cave,

you can see the entrance,

and that was

the archaeological entrance.

People came

into the cave level,

not like us, down a ladder.

And then the cliff collapsed.

And then we've got the rubble

from the cliff.

From outside,

you cannot see it.

From inside, you can.

Over there, you've got the dots,

the red dots.

Those are the red dots

which I saw first

when I came into the cave,

big dots made with the palm

of the hand.

Well, here we have... - we have

a big cave bear skull, right?

Male, probably.

And you'll see many others.

You see, in this big chamber,

which is a really huge... -

it's the biggest in the cave... -

there are no paintings

except right at the end.

So this is probably relevant,

because when the entrance

was still open,

there must have been

some light here.

So they put the paintings,

really, in the complete dark.

See here.

This is a cave bear

painted in black.

The paintings

looked so fresh

that there were initial doubts

about their authenticity,

but this picture has a layer

of calcite and concretions

over it

that take thousands of years

to grow.

This was the first proof

that it was not a forgery.

- A beautiful horse here,

one of the most beautiful

in the cave.

And what is touching

is that it looks as if

it had been done yesterday.

Look how fresh it looks

with that technique.

And here we have,

behind the horse,

there are two mammoths,

big mammoths.

And here you can see

cave bear scratches,

and the cave bear scratches

are not the same color.

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Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog (German: [ˈvɛɐ̯nɐ ˈhɛɐ̯tsoːk]; born 5 September 1942) is a German screenwriter, film director, author, actor, and opera director. Herzog is a figure of the New German Cinema, along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner Schröter, and Wim Wenders. Herzog's films often feature ambitious protagonists with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature.French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog "the most important film director alive." American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog "has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons, or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular." He was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2009. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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