Movie Review: Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) #atozchallenge

This is my entry for “C” in the Blogging A to Z Challenge. Throughout April I will be watching and reviewing a documentary movie from A to Z. Some other “C” documentaries I’ve reviewed include Cane Toads: An Unnatural HistoryThe Case of the Grinning Cat, Ceasefire Massacre, The Clash: Westway to the World,  and Constantine’s Sword .

Title: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Release Date: 2010
Director: Werner Herzog
Production Company: Creative Differences

This documentary takes us to a place that most human beings will never have access to, Chauvet Cave in southern France.  The cave contains some of the oldest known human paintings, dating back 32,000 years ago.  Herzog’s narration tends toward the melodramatic, but the visuals are stunning, and as Herzog notes filmed under very trying conditions.  Herzog and crew are not shy about letting the camera linger on these amazing paintings and following them along the contours of the cave walls. At one point it’s noted that a painting of a horse that intersects with another horse may have been painted 5000 years apart, a stunning idea that art could be maintained and added to over so long a period of time.  In addition to film inside the cave, Herzog interviews numerous scientists and visits other prehistoric sites and natural locations in the environs that can help us understand what may have been happening in Chauvet.  But the scenes inside the cave are the stars of the film (and if you’re lucky, maybe you can see them in 3-D).

What Can One Learn From Watching This Documentary: This movie is probably the best chance you’ll get to see the earliest works of art by our human ancestors and take a moment to appreciate the core of humanity.
If You Like This You Might Also Want To …: Another window into early humans is the frozen remains of Ötzi the Iceman whom I visited on my honeymoon and learned more about from the documentary Iceman Reborn. The Humans Who Went Extinct explores the Neanderthals who lived alongside our early human ancestors.

Source: I watched this movie on Netflix streaming.

Rating: ***1/2

9 thoughts on “Movie Review: Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) #atozchallenge

  1. Several years ago, I chanced upon this movie while extremely jet-lagged and channel-surfing. I kept dozing off, dreaming weird cave dreams, then waking up and watching the actual documentary. Somehow, this made the movie feel like it was 6 hours long – lol!

    I liked what I saw, but I really need to re-watch it sometime. And I tell ya, when you’re struggling to stay awake, don’t listen to Herzog speak. He really should be a hypnotist!

    Tui Snider, dropping by from the A to Z Challenge
    Understanding Cemetery Symbols from A to Z

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt like I was drifting off a bit myself while watching. In this movie there’s a dreamlike quality the makes being on the edge of sleep a bonus while watching.


    2. That was so funny to read. I could see myself doing the same thing. We once had our baby in Emergency and the international weather report was on the TV there while we were trying to catch a urine specimen. That took on a surreal feel as well.
      Best wishes,

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Herzog says they had a lot of restrictions on the size of cameras that they could bring into the caves, so I don’t think that they had anything big enough to film for IMAX, but they did get it in 3-D so it would definitely be cool to see that in a movie theater.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for posting this, Liam. I thought I’d sit here for an hour or so today and catch up your A-Z posts but will now spread them out a bit so I can allow the gravity of each post sink in. I really do like to fully immerse myself into subjects like this. We don’t have Netflix but might have to crash at my parents’ place for a movie night.
    I remember seeing this painting in my art history class when I was about 12. That was sucha long time ago and they might even have been in b&w in the text book….boring.. However, this film really brings them back to life and creates a spiritual experience which I’m yearning to tap into.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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