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At a time in prehistory when Neanderthals shared the Earth with early Homo sapiens, a band of cave-dwellers adopt blond and blue-eyed Ayla, a child of the "Others". As Ayla matures into a young woman of spirit and courage (unlike other women of the clan), she must fight for survival against the jealous bigotry of Broud, who will one day be clan leader. Based on Jean M. Auel's popular book, there is minimal narration; subtitles translate the Neanderthal gestures and primitive spoken language. Written by
so far, aside from the comments here at IMDB, i have not seen one positive review for this film. i just don't get it. i honestly think it's a political assault against a film that threatens reviewers jealously guarded dogmas.
for me the film is escapism at it's finest. it's a film about cave dwellers that doesn't condescend by having the characters speak in english, but instead in subtitled "neanderthal". it gives the film believability as far as i'm concerned.
it's not a film about great conflicts and battles in pre-history, it's merely a character study about the final days of the neanderthals and how they are threatened by cro-magnons (daryl hannah).
it isn't an overly flowery movie. a couple of times it gets down and dirty in it's portrayal of mob rules mentality and racism. maybe the film offends viewers because they see themselves in the characters and don't like the comparison. all of the unpleasant behaviors, although simplified in the movie, still happen today in "more civilized times". people are still threatened by anyone different, women still get raped, sexism hasn't gone away and populations are still ruled by ruthless dictators.
for me, clan of the cave bear is a totally believeable story of life as it may have been 50,000 years ago. it protrays primitive people with primitave language, laws and beliefs with an honest affection. it's more of a "documentary" about daryl hanna's trials and tribulations in her adopted tribe than it is a plotted story. it comes off more like real life.
while anyone is entitled not to like the movie for whatever reason, i find the movie highly entertaining and an excellent escape into the world as it might actually have been long ago. it easily holds a spot in my top 50 list for it's totally unique experience.
i give it a 10 for bravely going where few films dare to and succeeding admirably without following boring hollywood formulas. it just doesn't deserve it's bad reviews at all. i don't give 10's out to many films either.
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