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Artist’s Choice Screening: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

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"I love this film. Herzog takes you into the Chauvet caves in the South of France and shows you the oldest paintings in the world. In the process he conveys the immediacy of the past in his own idiosyncratic style." Lorna Macintyre on Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Lorna Macintyre has selected the wonderfully quirky yet profound Cave of Forgotten Dreams as her Artist’s Choice Screening.

Directed by Werner Herzog, the film explores the story of the cave art discovered at Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc in France in 1994. Dating back 32,000 years, the caves contain some of the earliest examples of human art. The paintings were discovered in pristine condition but are so vulnerable that even human breath could endanger them. This makes the achievement in documenting them all the more remarkable.  The film introduces us to some cheerfully eccentric characters and invites the viewer to muse on what art means to us as humans.

Interviews with archaeologists, palaeontologists and experts like a master perfumer try to contextualise our evolution and whether these paintings of elephants, rhinos, carnivores and predators are the first evidence of a human soul being expressed.

Whatever the motivation, these paintings are achingly beautiful. When Herzog's camera glides along the cave walls, accompanied by the music of cellist Ernst Reijseger, it's impossible not to be moved and awed. 

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