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Finding Altamira (2016)

Altamira (original title)
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Life and events of the man who realized one of the most important discoveries of the 19th century: Altamira's caves.


Hugh Hudson





Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio Banderas ... Marcelino
Clément Sibony ... Émile Cartailhac
Rupert Everett ... Monseñor
Javivi ... Harlé (as Javivi Gil Valle)
Irene Escolar ... María adulta
Pierre Niney ... Paul Ratier
Nicholas Farrell ... Vilanova
Allegra Allen Allegra Allen ... Young María Sautuola
Lluís Soler Lluís Soler ... Mero
Tábata Cerezo ... Pasi
Golshifteh Farahani ... Conchita
Chantal Garsan Chantal Garsan ... Soprano
Concha Hidalgo ... Marquesa
Katie Paterson Katie Paterson ... Carolina
Henry Goodman ... De los Ríos


Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola y de la Pedrueca, in 1868, accidentally discovered Paleolithic paintings with the help of a hunter named Modesto Cubillas inside Altamira's caves, located in Cantabria, north to Spain. Trying to expose their discovery to the academic world for that they study the paintings, Sautuola crashed against the skepticism and discredit of all experts, who claimed that the caves were false and the paintings made for the own Sautuola, in a effort to get rich. Looking for the truth, Sautuola was the rest of his life fighting to prove that those paintings were real, trying to restore his innocence from the accusations of falsehood launched against him. Written by Chockys

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some secrets are too powerful to hide.


Drama | History


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Official Sites:

Official site


UK | France | Spain



Release Date:

1 April 2016 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Finding Altamira See more »


Box Office


€8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€444,107 (Spain), 1 April 2016, Limited Release
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film argues that the Catholic church opposed the discovery, and accused Sanz de Sautuola of forgery. This is not true. There was no official pronouncement of the Catholic church in Spain or in the Vatican about the authenticity of the paintings of Altamira. See more »


The sardine can in which the maid placed the burning marrow was clearly of modern stamped two piece construction rather than the three piece soldered type. Also, key opened cans weren't invented until 1889. See more »


El Bugle Dorado
Performed by Escuela De Música N'Clave
Recording Engineer Alfredo Díaz (-12DB Madrid)
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User Reviews

History and science meet a too drawn out dramatic narrative
22 December 2016 | by alanpginiSee all my reviews

I gave this a seven, because of the historical importance of the Altamira cave paintings. But as film itself goes, it rates a 6. History saves this film. The depiction of the work of the paleolithic art is accurate, though somewhat blurred in its depiction. The background of this film was too drawn out however, to allow for a better rating. It steers to closely to a Hallmark movie, rather than a dramatic historic narrative. To me, when actual historic dialog is lacking, as little as possible should be added to fill in the blanks. I almost stopped watching it due to the tedium of the dialogue. The acting was good. It was probably Banderas's best work since the 13th warrior. He was very believable in the role of Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola. Though his accent still detracts from his performance, even in a Spanish role. Rupert Everett shows once again his great talent. It is sad that his attitude has led to the downfall of his career. The other character actors were somewhat bland but acceptable. As it is the case with any historical film, that teaches as well as entertains, the audience and mankind can only benefit. A must watch for amateur historians.

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