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Cave of Forgotten Dreams | 2011 | NR | - 2.2.1

Director Werner Herzog gained access and permission to film inside the Chauvet caves in Southern France. He proceeded to capture the imagery of the oldest cave paintings ever discovered, and the natural setting of the cave is juxtaposed with interviews of archeologists and historians. Narrated by Herzog. [1:30]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - We see a cave line-drawing of the lower half of a female figure with the genital region of the female visible but not defined; a woman describes the figure as being the lower portion of a woman's body, including the pelvic triangle. A narrator describes a cave drawing of the lower half of a line-drawing of a female figure with the genital region visible but not defined, as he explains that a bison's head is resting "on top of a woman's sex." We see multiple ancient figurines of the female form, including breasts and crudely carved genital regions. A man describes a rough figurine of a woman, pointing to the parted legs where a gouge is seen as being similar to female genitalia.
 A woman points to a cave drawing of a male lion and points to its tail, which she identifies as being male genitalia. A woman points to a cave drawing of a lion and describes that it is a full sized male lion trying to mate with an underage female lion that is growling (the mating is not visible).

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VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - We see countless bones of various animals littering the floor of a cave, including skulls, rib bones and vertebrae, as well as skulls covered in crystallized calcite. An archaeologist describes a collection of bones found in a cave, saying that bones of various animals had been found, perhaps after being eaten by bears, but no bones of humans have been found.
 We see the cave line-drawings of two rhinos crashing into one another and a woman describes how she finds the imagery so moving that she can imagine the sound of them smashing together and claps her hands to demonstrate the impact.
 The narrator poses a question concerning the imprint of an eight-year-old boy's footprint next to the footprint of a wolf, asking if the wolf might have stalked the boy or if the prints were from different eras.
 A man explains that Paleolithic hunters had thrown spears and attempts to throw a spear; he then jokes that he could not have killed a horse with that throw. A man describes how spearheads have been found deep in the haunches of horses. A narrator explains that people are only allowed in a cave for a limited number of hours due to the high level of carbon monoxide.
 The narrator explains that a massive rockslide had cascaded rocks down the side of a mountain, effectively blocking an entire cave. An unseen man asks another man if he had feared bulls he had dreamt of and the man says he had not. The narrator describes that a variety of carnivores were present in Paleolithic times, including foxes, wolves, bears and humans.

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LANGUAGE 1 - 2 anatomical terms.

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SUBSTANCE USE - None.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - The Chauvet-Pont-d'-Arc Cave in France, the Lascaux Caves, the Ardeche River and the Pont-d'Arc natural bridge, cave paintings and drawings, cold light panels, climate control to preserve natural settings, Wagner operas, stone age, Paleolithic age, long-extinct animals including cave bears, hairy rhinos, and mammoths, calcite, ibex, minotaurs, figurines of Venus, mythological connection between humans and animals, experimental paleontologists, professional perfumers, classification of humans as homo sapiens or homo spiritualists, Australian Aborigines, 3D computer mapping, tropical biospheres, manmade greenhouses, albino animals, doppelgangers, nuclear power plants, visual histories versus oral communication, carbon monoxide poisoning, Fred Astaire.
MESSAGE - We must preserve and research important archeological finds to learn about the history of humanity.
CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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