Cave of Forgotten Dreams

By Razib Khan | April 26, 2011 11:56 pm

Horses from Chauvet Cave

I’m not particularly a fan of Werner Herzog films, but I think I might check out his new documentary on Upper Paleolithic art, Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Chauvet Cave in France is the subject of the film, which is in 3-D. In media appearances Herzog has claimed that the cave was sealed for 20,000 years before being discovered in 1994. To maintain its pristine character it is closed to the public, so the filmmakers clearly had to jump a lot of hoops to get their footage. Cave of Forgotten Dreams is opening in limited release this Friday, but from what I can tell that basically  means it is showing at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in New York, period. So I’ll have to wait for it when it goes nationwide.

Trailer below.

  • Sandgroper

    I’m not saying Chaumet isn’t breath-taking, it is, but I take offence at “where art began”. It wasn’t.

  • Rob

    Priceless conversation between Herzog and Cormac McCarthy (…and Lawrence Krauss).

  • Dennis

    Seems strange to have a 3D movie about 2D cave paintings.

    I mean, I get that the traversing of the caves will probably look pretty cool in 3D, but still – is it about the caves or the art – or maybe it’s about the technology.

  • Tom Bri

    Just annoying. More fractured glimpses of what I want to see all of. I have looked repeatedly on line for a comprehensive gallery of paleo cave art and come up nearly blank. Always the same few scenes, repeated on every site. Now this teaser video, which was mostly people and flashlights. Can I hope the film will be better?

    Anyone know a web site that has an in-depth gallery of cave art?

  • nebbish

    Tom Bri,

    You might like this website, although it’s not as comprehensive as your ideal:

  • Jumblepudding

    Apparently Herzog shot it in 3D to capture the full intention of the artists-they subtly utilized contours of the cave walls in the illustration, so there is a “topographical” quality to them.

  • Jens

    does anyone know when this will get wide release? I can’t find any info anywhere.

  • jason

    Just seen it in London. It was filmed under difficult conditions, but you do get a pretty good look at a large number of extraordinary paintings. The paintings aren´t flat either, as pointed out by someone else above.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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