Sight and Sound - 04/01/2011
"[T]he result is rather wonderful as a spectacle....Peter Zeitlinger's typically resourceful photography shows off the rock paintings in as much detail as circumstances permit..."
Total Film - 05/01/2011 3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n inspired use of 3D. Herzog himself is in raptures..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/06/2011
"With awe, a Herzogian sense of kinship, and a minimal camera crew working with 3-D film under unique constraints, the filmmaker all but communes with the past." -- Grade: A-
Los Angeles Times - 04/29/2011
"It's a privilege and a pleasure to be present in a sacred space where the human and the mystical effortlessly intertwine, and we are in Werner Herzog's debt for that great gift."
Chicago Sun-Times - 04/27/2011 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Herzog's inspiration is to show us the paintings as the cave's original visitors must have seen them..."
New York Times - 04/28/2011
"What a gift Werner Herzog offers with Cave of Forgotten DReams, an inside look at the astonishing Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc....It's a blast to be inside the cave, to see these images, within 3-D grabbing reach."
Box Office - 04/25/2011 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Herzog goes inside France's Chauvet Cave to once again reflect on mankind's relationship to the natural world....With his idiosyncratic blend of serendipity, bluntness and mischievous irony, he's able to get at deep questions like no other documentarian."
Washington Post - 05/06/2011 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[A]n experience that, in its immersive sensory pleasures and climactic journey of discovery, more closely resembles an ecstatic trance."
In 1994, one of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries of the decade came to light in a cave in Southern France, known as the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc: etchings estimated at around 30,000 years old. The date of origin made these some of the oldest remnants of humankind ever discovered. Unsurprisingly, these artistic remnants bore a precious fragility -- experts asserted that overexposure, even to elements as seemingly harmless as human breath, could severely damage or destroy the drawings. For that reason, few obtained access to this area. One exception arrived in the form of maverick German filmmaker Werner Herzog, who not only obtained permission to film (with lights that emit no heat) but did so in 3D -- a process that enabled him to convey the textured surfaces on which the figures are drawn, as well as the shape and depth of the cave's stalagmites and other structures. This astonishing 3D documentary not only provides exquisite visual detail of the cave (as Herzog explores it) but uses the visuals as a springboard to broader philosophical questions about the nature of humanity itself and the transience of humankind.