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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on March 12, 2012
Slow paced, but meticulous and timeless in its approach. Great edutainment value as well as a major contribution to the rare visual material on the Chauvet Cave. A very serious production with a soundtrack that is the perfect backdrop to Herzog's heavily accented narration as he raises questions of spirituality, religion, art, science, and more. As the film proceeds, the archaeological evidence in the cave is explained, revealing patterns of life 32,000 years ago and inviting the viewer to understand theories of the importance of symbolism regarding the paintings. Fascinating in its scope and treatment of unique subject matter.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 29, 2012
I haven't seen this film in 3D, but short of that, blu-ray is the ideal format for it. Some of the paintings in the Chauvet Cave in France are 32,000 years old but look as if they were done yesterday, and by an excellent artist too. The cave has been kept in its pristine condition since it was discovered in 1994 by excluding all human traffic except a few scientists -- and now Herzog's film crew, who made the most of their opportunity to document this amazing art.

Herzog also interviews some of the scientists and cave explorers involved, intercutting the interview footage with shots of the cave walls. We begin to imagine what it was like to live in an ice age among mammoth, rhinoceros, lions and cave bears, and freely roaming horses. The drawings of these creatures in the cave convey an intimate acquaintance with them, and the background information supplied in the earlier part of the film prepares us so that the lingering contemplations of the art later on have their maximum effect, enhanced by slow movement of camera and lights which bring out the subtle details. The result is a hair-raising sense of connection with our Cro-Magnon ancestors.

In addition to his flair for documenting very special places, Werner Herzog also excels at combining them with special music. Here he calls upon Ernst Reijseger, whose mix of improvised cello and wordless choral singing suits the film very well. It's not quite classical, not quite sacred music, not quite avant-garde, but finds a space near enough to all of these to enhance the sense of strangeness and awe which the cave itself inspires. As he did with Grizzly Man, Herzog includes here a "making of" the soundtrack. Other extras or commentary tracks would be superfluous. This film is a must-see if you want to get a sense of prehistoric humanity.

I should perhaps mention that the version i obtained (thanks to a gift certificate) came from and combines 3D and regular Blu-ray on one disc (along with the extras); the Blu-ray version available from may be slightly different, though i doubt it.
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on August 27, 2012
I've always wanted to visit the caves of France. There is something amazing about knowing that despite all the world can destroy, it can sometimes also preserve such delicate histories of our past. This bluray is top quality. The circumstances with which the filmmakers had to go through must have been a bit frustrating but in the end it came out really nice. If you like Werner Herzog's dramatic style, and you are interested in seeing a place that you'll likely never get the chance to see, than check this out. You won't be disappointed.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 21, 2014
Jean-Michael Geneste Director of the Chauvet Cave Research Project takes us through the discovery and interpretation of what they believe we are seeing in a recently discovered Cave in southern France.

We see the trouble gone through to seal the cave from the outside environment and the wearing of sterile shoes. However they do not mind the effect of light or of taking scrapings.

There are drawings that date back about 30,000 years. We see them as a small film crew walk through. The lighting and angles are still professional. There is consistent thematic (violocello, organ, piano, and flute) music in the back ground that is not necessarily needed but helps the different parts of the film be coherent.

We get different interviews from professionals related to the cave discoveries. Much of this is speculation on what the creators/artists were thinking. There are more than just pictographs displayed such as skulls of cave bears. We deviate to Paleolithic Venuses to try and show what was happening elsewhere at the time. They also toss in ivory flutes from south western Germany.

There is an epilog about an artificial tropical biosphere created from exhaust water from nuclear reactors as a very loose connection to the original subject of the presentation.

Even though the DVD presentation is in 3-D and 2-D I only watched the 2-D. However I can see how 3-D would render a new dimension to the viewer. The presentation did not distract from a good 2-D presentation.

This production is well worth reviewing to bet a better look at the details overlooked in the first viewing. This is just a 90 minute overview of what can be a fascinating subject.
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on August 26, 2012
My son had told me about this dvd all he did was tell me how unbelievable it was, so I decided to give it a look see; now I know what he was talking about, it really is amazing, almost unbelievable. I would recommend this as a great view.
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on October 8, 2013
This is An incredible film that takes us places we have never been and are never likely to go. This place exists in our collective unconscious as the place where art, poetry and storytelling began. You must see it.
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on February 22, 2016
It wouldn't play as there was damage to it during manufacture. Never buying from this source again.
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on September 29, 2014
Impossibilité de visionner un dvd qui n'est pas programmé pour l'Amérique (zone 1).
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on October 9, 2014
This is wonderful, saw it on the big screen and just had to own it
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on March 24, 2015
My favorite Werner Herzog documentary.
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