Cave of Forgotten Dreams
- 1 hr 30 min
A cinematic experience like no other Cave of Forgotten Dreams documents the oldest cave paintings known to have been painted by human hands. Amazingly more than 30,000 years old, they are almost twice as old as any other discovery of its kind. Located in southern France the Chauvet Cave is near the natural Pont d’Arc bridge. In addition to the footage filmed inside the cave and at the Pont d’Arc bridge, the film also includes interviews with historians and scientists. An article by Judith Thurman printed in the New Yorker seems to be the inspiration for Herzog’s interest in the cave. The documentary was first introduced at the Toronto International Film Festival in late 2010. Since then it boasts eight ‘Best Documentary’ awards and another three nominations in the last two years. The general public is not allowed to enter the cave in the interest of preservation and to film the documentary Herzog had to obtain special permission from the French Minister of Culture. Even with permission the crew faced dangerous conditions and heavy restrictions. Herzog’s team of four, which included himself working the lights, were only permitted a total of 24 total hours of filming broken up into six four hour sessions. The crew was required to wear special suits to protect themselves from near toxic levels of radon and carbon dioxide. To protect the cave’s environment the crew was refined to a two foot wide walkway, were not permitted to touch any part of the cave’s walls and floor and were restricted to battery operated equipment only. Although Herzog is unconvinced of the value of 3D filmmaking, believing that it is not suitable for most cinematic productions, he chose to film the documentary in 3D to capture the subtle contours of the cave which the artists had incorporated into their painting.