Thanks to paid family leave, Stacy and I were able to duck out to a matinee of Cave of Forgotten Dreams, in 3D… with an 8-week-old in tow!
The subject matter of the film, the prehistoric art on the walls of the Chauvet Cave, is heartstoppingly powerful. Bearing witness to creative and communicative output that is over 30,000 years old was emotionally overwhelming — more than once I nearly sobbed as I took in the imagery. This art connects us not with “a people” from over 30,000 years ago (a span of 1,500 generations), but with specific individuals. The quality of the art is stunning, and it becomes evident that we’re not so different from those Cro-Magnons who ran Europe wearing reindeer to survive during the ice age.
A perhaps more quotidian thought occurred to me, related to my recent writing on the Connected Age. The primary theme running through my latest work is that business must embrace humanity, human values, human ideals. And this movie makes evident that the creative impulse, manifested in visual art and music, is key to human-ness. The cave art seems to have two purposes — to help understand and process the world around them, and to communicate to others what you’ve experienced. Those activities of understanding and communicating are foundational in the Connected Age.
I’m of the opinion that Cave of Forgotten Dreams should be required viewing for, well, everyone. It would be hard to find a more universal film, even one told through the idiosyncratic perspective of Werner Herzog. 3-D is definitely a “feature” — though occasionally head-hurting, it’s essential to appreciate the undulations within the caves, and how the artists used the topography in their work.