Cave of Forgotten Dreams


Following his previous documentary Encounters at the End of the World, iconic director Werner Herzog once again takes us deep behind the frontier of an extraordinary place. Having gained unprecedented access through the tightest of restrictions and overcome considerable technical challenges, he has captured on film, with specially designed 3D cameras, the interior of the Chauvet Cave in southern France. This is where the world’s oldest cave paintings – hundreds in number - were discovered in 1994. In the mesmerising Cave of Forgotten Dreams, he reveals to us a breathtaking subterranean world and leads us to the 32,000-year-old artworks. In that deeply moving moment of encounter, we come face to face with pristine and astonishingly realistic drawings of horses, cattle and lions, which for the briefest second come alive in the torchlight. In true Herzogian fashion, his hypnotically engaging narration weaves in wider metaphysical contemplations as we learn more about the Paleolithic art and its creators. Through his understated and gently humorous voiceover, we are invited to reflect on our primal desire to communicate and represent the world around us, evolution and our place within it, and ultimately what it means to be human.

Nanook of the North

A Story of Life and Love in the "Actual" Arctic

A 1922 silent documentary film by Robert J. Flaherty. In the tradition of what would later be called salvage ethnography, Flaherty captured the struggles of the Inuk Nanook and his family in the Canadian arctic. The film is considered the first feature-length documentary, though Flaherty has been criticized for staging several sequences and thereby distorting the reality of his subjects' lives.

In 1989, this film was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".