Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

The Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc - Horse panel

The Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc – Horse panel

I will always remember this film with this point quoted below. Aside Herzog‘s masterful narrative, music, dynamics and his unique courage of asking questions. Questions that no one think of, but when they are asked the incredible point emerges.

“- Traditional people
and, I think,

people of the Paleolithic
had very probably some… –

two concepts which change
our vision of the world.

They’re the concept of fluidity
and the concept of permeability.

Fluidity means that
the categories that we have… –

man, woman, horse, I don’t know,
tree, et cetera… –

can shift.

A tree may speak.

A man can get transformed
into an animal

and the other way around,
given certain circumstances.

The concept of permeability
is that there are no barriers,

so to speak,
between the world where we are

and the world of the spirits.

A wall can talk to us,

or a wall can accept us
or refuse us.

A shaman, for example,
can send his or her spirit

to the world
of the supernatural

or can receive the visit,
inside him or her,

of supernatural spirits.

If you put those two concepts
together,

you realize how different
life must have been

for those people
from the way we live now.”

.

albino crocodiles

albino crocodiles

On the Rhone River

is one of the largest nuclear
power plants in France.

The Chauvet Cave is located
only 20 miles as the crow flies

beyond these hills
in the background.

A surplus of warm water,

which has been used
to cool these reactors,

is diverted half a mile away
to create a tropical biosphere.

Warm steam
fills enormous greenhouses,

and the site is expanding.

Crocodiles have been introduced
into this brooding jungle,

and warmed by water
to cool the reactor,

man, do they thrive.

There are already
hundreds of them.

Not surprisingly,

mutant albinos swim and breed
in these waters.

A thought is born
of this surreal environment.

Not long ago, just a few
ten thousands of years back,

there were glaciers here

And now a new climate
is steaming and spreading.

Fairly soon, these albinos
might reach Chauvet Cave.

Looking at the paintings,
what will they make of them?

Nothing is real.

Nothing is certain.

It is hard to decide
whether or not

these creatures here
are dividing

into their own doppelgaengers.

And do they really meet,

or is it just their own
imaginary mirror reflection?

Are we today
possibly the crocodiles

who look back into an abyss
of time

when we see the paintings
of Chauvet Cave?

One thought on “Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010)

  1. Pingback: This man | Once you care

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