Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Werner Herzog, Dominique Baffier, Jean Clottes
In Cave of Forgotten Dreams, filmmaker Werner Herzog is moved almost to poetry as he contemplates drawings made 32,000 years ago in the Chauvet Cave in southern France.
The acclaimed documentarian extols the 1994 finding of the cave drawings as “one of the greatest discoveries in the history of human culture.”
A rockslide in the Ardèche River valley some 25,000 years ago sealed the cave, leaving a natural time capsule that, when finally opened, yielded a cache of charcoal drawings that seemed to have been sketched mere days before.
These ancient artists sketched images of the horses, bears, bison, lions and rhinos that used to roam France.
“Do they dream?” the awed Herzog asks via voiceover of his Paleolithic subjects. “Do they cry at night? What are their hopes?”
Entry to the cave is strictly limited, but Herzog’s renown was sufficient to persuade France’s Ministry of Culture to allow him unique access.
The team members make excellent use of their privileged entry. The overall effect, aided by Ernst Reijseger’s score of rising choral harmonies and lush strings, is one of rapture and magic that will leave the viewer dreaming.
Extras include a Q&A with Herzog.