Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

Reel Popcorn Junkie occasionally reviews more recent fare. This is one of those films.

I remember hearing rave reviews about Cave of Forgotten Dreams when this documentary was released four years ago. This title was quickly snapped up when I happened upon it on the shelf at my public library last week.

This film from German director Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo, Aguirre, The Wrath of God) is essential viewing.

A cave, sealed off for 20,000 years following a rock slide, is found by a trio of French explorers in 1994. They find the earliest known paintings, in this case wall drawings of animals, made by man. There's images of horses, bison, rhinoceros and a bird in flight.

The thought behind the art is incredible. Cave of Forgotten Dreams suggests ideas these artists had are represented in works by 20th century man, including animation. The artists from years ago considered the contours of the cave walls in the presentation of their art. Two overlapping drawings were made 5,000 years apart. Incredible.

There's related explorations of weapons used by our forefathers and early musical instruments, including a flute that can do a very nice rendition of The Star Spangled Banner. A spear launcher is an impressive example of early engineering, giving added oomph to efforts to bring home the day's dinner.

The questions raised about early man's creative efforts are thought provoking.

The crystal formations, made over hundreds of years after the cave was sealed, are spellbinding too.

Part history, art and evolution lesson, Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a great film.

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