Herzog’s ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’

Herzog’s ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’

‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’ by the German film director Werner Herzog is a wonderful, mesmerising and profoundly moving film. He deserved all the awards and praise he received for the film and more. Set in the Ardeche region of France, the film focusses on the cave paintings and remains of human Palaeolithic life in the Chauvet cave.

Today, whilst shopping in the local supermarket, I thought to myself…”What kind of society, of human being, have we created today in the age of capital’s break down? We must go forward, regardless of the cost, and put an end to all this nonsense and brutality”. I sat and thought about the concept of “progress” and wondered if we are in fact “lower” than Palaeolithic man in many respects.

What particularly moved me in the film was the incredible depiction of the movement of the horses and lions and the way in which the cave dwellers caught and animated the expressions on their faces and even in their eyes. It revealed a profoundly intimate and deeply respectful relationship which these men and women had with these wonderful, beautiful creatures.

And when I think of people today in the age of capital’s crisis –  and the terror, suffering, cruelty (this cruelty is the worst of all; we must struggle to create a world without this cruelty) and the most barbarous forms of brutality which they are inflicting on Nature’s creation – it disturbs me to the point of nausea. The end of the grotesque ugliness and pure unadulterated evil of commodifying Nature’s living creation for the profit of moneygrubbers must be one of the first decrees of the revolution in power.

This is the age of terror for Nature’s creation because it is the age of capital-in-crisis. That age must be put to the sword. The epoch of capital must be destroyed. Once and for all. Regardless of what it is going to take. We need our agencies of revolution to prosecute this struggle beyond the point of return for capital and its state powers. To steamroller into the dust of human history for good. Never to return.


Shaun May

January 2018