Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Watch Cave of Forgotten Dreams

"Humanity's Lost Masterpiece... in 3D"
  • G
  • 2010
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 7.4  (17,598)
  • 86

Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a remarkable, awe-inspiring documentary directed by Werner Herzog, released in 2010. Filmed in 3D, this documentary explores the fascinating and valuable prehistoric cave paintings of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc in Southern France, which are dated to be about 32,000 years old. It takes an intriguing look at the cave's historical significance, beautiful artistry, and the enigmatic mindset of our ancestors who created them.

The cave paintings, which feature a variety of animals, handprints, and other symbols, are so beautiful and unique that the cave was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The area is also very delicate and off-limits to the public because of its fragility, isolation, and preservation concerns. However, Herzog and his film crew received special permission to explore and film inside the cave, and this documentary presents some of the most incredible footage of the cave paintings and the surrounding areas.

Herzog creates a sense of awe right from the beginning of the film with a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes, combined with the compelling cinematic music of Ernst Reijseger. He then takes the audience on a journey of discovery deep into the cave, with expert insights from archaeologists, historians, and other scientists who provide explanations and traces of evidence for what may have led to the creation of the artwork.

With his insightful guiding narration, Herzog poses thought-provoking questions about what may have inspired our prehistoric ancestors to create such elaborate art, and whether they had a deeper understanding of their world than we previously assumed. He also explores the possibility of a spiritual connection between the artists and the animals they painted, as well as the meaning behind the symbols they used, such as the “spider woman” and the “lion-man.”

The cave paintings themselves are simply breathtaking, and the 3D effect brings them to life in a way that is impossible to fully grasp through photographs. Herzog focuses on a few of the most striking compositions for a more detailed analysis, including a magnificent panel showing dozens of horses galloping together in a mad frenzy, seemingly caught in motion. The artists' ability to capture motion realistically is stunning, especially considering the lack of sophisticated tools available to them.

Herzog also takes an interesting approach to the documentary's tone by injecting a little lighthearted humor here and there. For example, there is a scene in which an expert tries to demonstrate how a flute may have been played by our prehistoric ancestors. The sound may be a little comical to our modern ears, but it is still fascinating to imagine our ancestors' communication through music.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the film is the scientific analysis that inspired recent theories about the cave paintings' meaning and the people that created them. The documentary highlights different experts' research on the significance of the artwork regarding its anthropological, biological, and geological context, weaving various interpretive approaches that still leave the paintings shrouded in some mystery.

The film also explores the art's value as a preserved fragment of prehistoric life and its potential contribution to scientific findings about ancient cultures. It highlights the cave's closure to the public and the potential danger of exposing the art to visitors. It even questions the possibility of a future technology to reconstruct and replicate the cave for public visitation without disturbing the original site. These questions add to the documentary's contemplation of timeless questions of art, human history, and preservation.

The movie is, in short, fascinating and mind-boggling. It is more than a mere account of the cave paintings; it also tackles fundamental ideas of humanity's connections to the past, present, and future. It is a meditation on the quest for deeper understanding and our emotional connection to culture and nature.

In conclusion, Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a superb film that will leave you mesmerized by the beauty, complexity, and mystery of our prehistoric legacy. Herzog's unique documentary style combined with the 3D technology and the expert commentary provides a mesmerizing account of the fascinating history and art, making this film an essential viewing experience for individuals interested in anthropology, art history, prehistory, and human evolution.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a 2010 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 86.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (17,598)
  • Metascore