“Maybe they in the future will find other caves with even older paintings and evidence of human and artistic work. But this is the first evidence of the modern human soul.”
Chauvet Cave, from “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” by Werner Herzog (2010)
3D Map of Chauvet Cave, from “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” by Werner Herzog (2010)
“Cave of Forgotten Dreams” was inspired by “First Impressions,” an article written by Judith Thurman for The New Yorker and published in 2008. But she, like the many filmmakers who had also petitioned the French government since Chauvet was discovered in 1994, never got permission to enter the cave and was forced to work from drawings and videos at the site.
Mr. Herzog succeeded where others failed, said Erik Nelson, the film’s producer, by becoming a temporary employee of the French government (for the symbolic payment of 1 euro) and giving France’s Ministry of Culture copies of the raw footage for noncommercial purposes. “I was kind of astounded that Werner got in,” Ms. Thurman said. “Getting permission to film in there was in itself a great feat of cultural diplomacy.” (read the full article, Prehistoric Cave With a Hornet on the Wall by Larry Rohter, on the New York Times)