Marcelino de Sautuola (Antonio Banderas) was a Spanish jurist and amateur archaeologist who owned the land where the Altamira cave was found . As his daughter Maria (as little girl : Allegra Allen and grown-up : Irene Escolar) , nine years old at the time, incidentally noticed that the ceiling was covered by images of bisons . Sautuola then started exploring the caves in 1875. He did not become aware of the paintings, however, until 1879, when Sautuola, having seen similar images engraved on Paleolithic objects displayed at the World Exposition in Paris the year before, rightly assumed that the paintings might also date from the Stone Age. Attempting to expose their discovery to the academic world for that they study the paintings , but he failed . Looking for the truth, Sautuola was the rest of his life fighting to prove that those paintings were real, attempting to restore his innocence from the accusations of falsehood launched against him by scientists , historians , geographers and priests (Rupert Everett) . As Marcelino , his wife Conchita (Golshifteh Farahani) and daugther (later she married into the Botín family of Cantabrian bourgeoisie, the current owners of Banco Santander are Sautuola's descendants) suffering distresses and unfortunes trying to demonstrate the reality of the fabulous paintings .The Altamira cave, now famous for its unique collection of prehistoric art, was well known to local people, but had not been given much attention until in 1868, when it was "discovered" .
Biography about existence and happenings of the man who realized one of the most important discoveries of the 19th : Altamira , Pateolithic paintings . As 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 . The flick concerns about confrontation between science and religion ; and between rationalism and faith . As Sautuola was panned and accused the paintings were made for the own Sautuola, in a effort to get richness . Dealing with his thunderous life when crashed against the skepticism and discredit of all scientists , geographers , and religious people , who claimed that the caves were false .
The picture displays an evocative and imaginative cinematography by José Luis Luis Alcaine who is deemed to be one of the best Spanish cameramen with a long and prestigious artistic career and Almodovar's ordinary cameraman , as he has photographed successes such as ¨Volver¨ , ¨The bad education¨ , ¨The skin I live in¨ , and ¨Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown¨ . He was first cinematographer to use fluorescent tube as "key" lightning in the 1970s . Jose Luis Alcaine thought a theory that the Frank Borzage movie A farewell to the arms (1932) after a story by Ernest Hemingway, was the main and total inspiration for Pablo Picasso in the creation of the "Guernica", one of the most important painting of the 20th century. He believes that several images of a sequence of 5 minutes long showing the exodus of countrymen and soldiers on an infernal rainy night was the inspiration of Pablo Picasso. Furthermore , a willingness almost perfect of the elements of each shot , every sequence , every space . Sensitive and rousing musical score by Mar Knopfler . The yarn was well directed by Hugh Hudson (Chariots of fire , Greystoke , I dreamed of Africa Irresistible, Revolution)
The picture is based on historical events about the discoverer of the Altamira paintings , these are the followings : Marcelino thanks to his daughter Maria , and the hunter Modesto discoverd the notorious caves . He therefore engaged an archaeologist from the University of Madrid to help him in his further work. Professor Juan Vilanova y Piera supported Sautuola's assumptions, and they published their results in 1880, to much public acclaim. But the scientific society was reluctant to accept the presumed antiquity of the paintings . The French specialists, led by their guru Gabriel de Mortillet, were particularly adamant in rejecting the hypothesis of Sautuola and Piera and their findings were loudly ridiculed at the 1880 Prehistorical Congress in Lisbon. Due to the supreme artistic quality, and the exceptional state of conservation of the paintings, Sautuola was even accused of forgery. A fellow countryman maintained that the paintings had been produced by a contemporary artist, on Sautuola's orders.It was not until 1902, when several other findings of prehistoric paintings had served to render the hypothesis of the extreme antiquity of the Altamira-paintings less shocking (and forgery less likely), that the scientific society retracted their opposition to the Spaniards. That year, the towering French archaeologist Émile Cartailhac, who had been one of the leading critics, emphatically admitted his mistake in the famous article, "Mea culpa d'un sceptique", published in the journal L'Anthropologie.Sautuola had died 14 years earlier, and did not live to enjoy the restitution of his honour or the later scientific confirmation of his premonitions. Modern dating techniques have since confirmed that the paintings of the Altamira cave were created over extended periods between 11,000 and 19,000 years ago. For the study of Paleolithic art Sautuola's discoveries must now be considered pivotal.
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