Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • In 1994, a group of scientists discovered a cave in Southern France perfectly preserved for over 20,000 years and containing the earliest known human paintings. Knowing the cultural significance that the Chauvet Cave holds, the French government immediately cut-off all access to it, save a few archaeologists and paleontologists. But documentary filmmaker, Werner Herzog, has been given limited access, and now we get to go inside examining beautiful artwork created by our ancient ancestors around 32,000 years ago. He asks questions to various historians and scientists about what these humans would have been like and trying to build a bridge from the past to the present.

  • In 1994, three explorers in the south of France find what many now consider the greatest discovery ever of primitive cave art. The Chauvet caves, named after one of the three, are 1300 feet long and the paintings are estimated to be 36,000 years old. Director Werner Herzog was given the opportunity to accompany a group of scientist who had been given access to the cave for a limited time. The paintings depict many animals of the time and also attempts at showing movement. Access to the caves are now severely limited and the film provides the only opportunity to see this primitive art.

  • Filmmaker Werner Herzog and his three-person camera crew are given access to Chauvet Cave in southern France, discovered in 1994 and named after one from among the three-person discovery team, Jean-Marie Chauvet. Beyond the natural beauty of the cave itself, it is renowned for its pristine cave paintings, the oldest known in the world dated at up to 32,000 years old. The paintings are in pristine condition as 20,000 years ago, a rock slide covered up the original entrance to the cave, protecting the interior, including the paintings, from many external natural elements. Because there is limited and restricted access to the cave to retain the pristine nature of the findings, Herzog and his team must do double duty assisting the scientific team they are accompanying with their work in the process. Herzog and his team also speak to many of the other scientists doing research on the wide array of topics concerning this fascinating find.

  • Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France and captures the oldest known pictorial creations of humanity.


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