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Herzog leads us into the cave, and we go with him. As the cinema usher said to me on the way out: “This is the first time 3D has made sense to me. It always seemed a gimmick before.” She is right. We feel the texture of the rock. Stalagmites and stalactites loom out of the darkness and pass us as we crawl along, their wet shape and colour reminding us of the human body. When we stand, we are in that immense chamber. We are really there. This is not an effect. It is an event. We are in a sacred place. And we feel it.

The cave in question is the Chauvet Cave in the Ardeche Gorge in the south of France, a review of a new film by Guardian writer Simon Mcburney  which is  being released on the 25th March. This marvellous cave full of exquisite animal drawings said to date back 30,000 years, is not open to the public but Werner Herzog, a radical German producer,  has managed to persuade the French authorities to allow him to film inside the cave.  

 A trailer of the film can be found here on the Fortean Times website.


March 2011

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