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Winner - NSFC Award, Best Non-Fiction Film, National Society of Film Critics USA, 2012

For over 20,000 years, Chauvet Cave has been completely sealed off by a fallen rock face, its crystal-encrusted interior as large as a football field and strewn with the petrified remains of giant ice age mammals.

In 1994, scientists discovered the caverns, and found hundreds of pristine paintings within, spectacular artwork dating back over 30,000 years (almost twice as old as any previous finds) to a time when Neanderthals still roamed the earth and cave bears, mammoths, and ice age lions were the dominant populations of Europe.

Since then, only a few people have been allowed access into Chauvet Cave, and the true scope of its contents had largely gone unfelt—until Werner Herzog managed to gain access. Herzog captures the wonder and beauty of one of the most awe-inspiring sites on earth, all the while musing in his inimitable fashion about its original inhabitants, the birth of art, and the curious people surrounding the caves today.

Featuring an introduction by film critic Jason Gorber.

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Want more Werner? Explore our retrospective The Myth is Reality: A Survey of Docs by Werner Herzog. Discover a curated selection of documentaries from the esteemed and influential filmmaker, writer, actor and pop culture icon.

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Credits

  • Director(s)

    • Werner Herzog

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