Cave of Forgotten Dreams is legendary director Werner Herzog’s documentary about the earliest known visions of mankind: the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc cave art of southern France. Sealed shut by a landslide for 20,000 years until it was finally discovered in 1994, the Chauvet Cave in southern France contains some of the oldest known examples of prehistoric art. The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and consists of footage filmed inside the cave as well as interviews with various scientists and historians. The film also includes footage of the nearby Pont d’Arc natural bridge. Herzog was allowed to have only three people with him in the cave: the cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger, a sound recorder, and an assistant. Herzog himself worked the lights. The crew was allowed to use only battery-powered equipment they could carry into the cave themselves, and only lights that gave off no excess heat. Herzog was allowed six shooting days of four hours each. The crew could not touch any part of the cave’s wall or floor, and were confined to a 2-foot-wide (0.61 m) walkway.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams is a quiet and captivating documentary that not only raises questions about history and art, but the nature of creation and the eternal struggle of mankind to understand. As of June 12, 2011, the film had grossed $3.7 million; making it the highest grossing independently released documentary of 2011, earning over five times more than the second-place film, The Last Lions. The film will be part of “Indie Film Fernie,” an event on the first Monday of each month during the fall and winter at the Vogue Theater. “Indie Film Fernie” will celebrate great international films that you may not see regularly.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams will be shown on Monday, October 3, at 7 p.m.