Werner Herzog's documentary Cave of Forgotten DreamsPOST-VIEWING QUESTIONS


1. What is the name of the cave? Where is it located?


2. Were you familiar with the Chauvet caves, or other famous caves with paintings created by humans?  If 

   yes, please explain.


3. What is your initial reaction to this documentary?


4. Why is Chauvet cave so important to the scientists interviewed, and even to the French government?


5. Werner Herzog’s film can be considered as an anthropological* study of humankind. Identify some of the discoveries 
    
    scientists made while working at Chauvet. 

     *anthropological (adj.) = relating to the study of humankind


6. How were the scientists able to speculate about the possible lives of the original painters?


7. How do researchers know that the art in the cave was not painted recently?


8. What animals are depicted in the cave paintings?


9. How did the artists of the Chauvet cave paintings convey the illusion of movement in their paintings of animals?


10. Were all of the Chauvet cave paintings done by a single individual? Explain your response.


11. The vast scope of time and human existence is a recurring theme in Herzog’s documentary. What is your reaction 

     to the enormous contrast between the span of time each of us inhabits this world and the span of time human 

     beings have lived in this world?


12. The only image of a human in the cave is similar in form to a famous figurine found in a site in Germany. Describe 

     that figurine  (the Venus of Hohle Fels).


13. What evidence is given in the documentary that Paleolithic humans made music? 


14. What does the film say about the abstract concepts of fluidity and permeability?


15. Is it important to preserve historical artifacts and to study them? Please explain your reasoning.


16. At one point in the documentary, Herzog suggests that perhaps the cave paintings reflect the beginning of the 

    human soul, as visual art and music became essential parts of the human experience. What do you think the 

    relationship is between art and the essence of being human?







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