Cave of Forgotten Dreams Canada, France, Germany, UK, USA 2010 – 90min.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Documentary by Werner Herzog about the 30,000-year-old cave drawings of the Grottes de Chauvet in the Ardèche.
With a film crew of just four, German filmmaker Werner Herzog leads the audience into the Grottes de Chauvet, a series of caves closed to the public where in 1994 bones and paintings of animals - some extinct - were found, dating back to the aurignacian age, home to the first prehistoric culture contemporary to Neanderthal man. In interviews with specialists in speleology and archaeology, Herzog breathes life into the 31,000-year-old murals, drawing parallels between what are considered the oldest representations of human art and certain classics of modern culture, like the dance of Fred Astaire and the minotaur drawings of Picasso...
Werner Herzog is decidedly difficult to follow: the German filmmaker changes genres constantly, from epics (Fitzcarraldo, Aguirre, Wrath of God), to star vehicles (the hybrid remake Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage) and documentaries. In The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Herzog easily surpasses the frame of simple didactic reporting, offering audiences a journey that is not only historical, but also existential and spiritual, as it pays homage to humankind's first artists. Fascinating.