Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc caves of Southern France and captures some of the oldest known and most well-preserved pictorial creations of early humans, dating back as far as 32,000 years ago. The limestone cave contains a wealth of beautiful images of galloping horses and a ghostly menagerie of bison, cave lions, cave bears, and wooly mammoths. Multiple red palm prints by one of the early artists reappear along the cave walls. The images attest to the admiration and respect these prehistoric humans held for animals and the natural world, and to their worldview described by an archeologist in the film as one with more porous boundaries between the seen and the unseen, and between animal spirits and the human souls who live alongside them. Werner Herzog exercises all his talent here to capture what he calls the “beginnings of the early human soul.” Many of the researchers interviewed seem deeply moved by the cave drawings and the mysterious atmosphere they create, which the film hauntingly conveys to its viewers.
New York Film Critics Circle Awards 2011 Winner – Best Nonfiction Film
Washington Film Critics Awards 2011 Winner – Best Documentary
To watch the trailer please click here
Werner Herzog is a German film director, screenwriter, author, actor, and opera director, regarded as a pioneer of New German Cinema. His films often feature ambitious protagonists with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals in conflict with nature. He is known for his unique filmmaking process, such as disregarding storyboards, emphasizing improvisation, and placing the cast and crew into similar situations as characters in his films.
Produced and presented by Columbia Maison Française
With additional support provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Columbia Climate School, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Alliance Program, and European Institute.
Curated by Shanny Peer, Fanny Guex and Clara Wilhelm
Screenings will be introduced or followed by panel discussions with invited scholars and, in some cases, the film directors. All films are subtitled in English.