Cave of Forgotten Dreams ★★★★

I fully believe that you could give Werner Herzog a photograph of a cat being sick on a waffle and he would, with his dulcet Bavarian tones and unparalleled ability to look beyond the evident, make it seem the most profound thing humanity has ever encountered. He doesn't have to do a lot to make Chauvet cave seem just that, the many signs of primitive man giving us a glimpse into the roots of humanity even without Herzog's narrational input. His discussion of proto-cinema, as well as his typically probing interviews with experts, adds tenfold to the meaningfulness of the material, bringing refined depth to a subject already steeped in incredible importance. The final ten minutes of the film comprise an extraordinary look at this subterranean system of early art, a simple cinematic tour through a wonderful place that's somehow so humbling. Therein lies the magic of Herzog: he always finds a way in to the deep recesses of the human soul, to see through whatever his subject might be the intimate realities of all our existence.