Finding Altamira (2016)
The story of nine-year old Maria and her father Marcelino who, in 1879, found the first pre-historic cave paintings at the now world famous Altamira cave.
Real easy to critic it. for the not examplary respect for accuracy of story, for dialogues and for too obvious fight between Church and science. but it has a small significant virtue - it is the right film for the child inside us from the early history lessons, when the teacher spoke about Altamira and Lascaux. for this child, recognosible in the traits of the girl, "Finding Altamira" has virtues of magic. or late answer. the film is far to be great. but it is a decent one, with a good job of Antonio Banderas and Rupert Everett in a surprising role. sure, it could be better. but , maybe, another director and scriptwriter are more inspired.
Beyond some controversy in the history behind the story, Finding Altamira is, in its own right, a find worthy of celebration.The cinematography of Jose Luis Alcaine is amazing. One could take almost any frame in this film and hang it on a wall as a work of art. I could have watched this film in mute and enjoyed just the visual majesty of every scene.After doing work in films like the Spy Kids franchise, Antonio Banderas is developing a reputation, in my mind, as a recognizable actor who brings attention to otherwise obscure movies, not to drive up the budget, but to elevate attention to the art. I would have never watched Automata, had I not been wondering what Antonio Banderas was doing in that movie; only to be wonderfully surprised again. In this movie, I would say that his acting was adequate, but once again, after the Automata experience, I decided to give the movie a chance. I am so glad I did.My favorite scenes were those involving Rupert Everett (Monsinor) and Golshifteh Farahani (Conchita). The cinematography was almost like watching an oil painting, with barely any movement, yet the tension and intensity of every scene was incredible. Was it sexual? Was it a power struggle? Was is a tug-of-war of morality? I could have watched them all day.The little girl in the film, Allegra Allen (Maria), as most child actors tend to be, is just too precocious in this movie and the character almost did not work for me. In my opinion, the point of view of the story shifted too much from the child in the beginning, the father in the middle, and the mother at the end. I believe the story would have been better served if the arc of Conchita's story would have remained the focus throughout.There was an "affair of the heart" storyline which was totally unnecessary, in my opinion, and only included to generate more scenes and conflict for secondary actors. I believe the movie would have been just fine without diving into that part of the story and leaving it as wistful glances between two characters.The story, whether parts are true or fictionalized, is simple enough and I would suggest, secondary to this film.You should watch this movie if only for watching how beautiful the craft of movie making can be.
Based upon a true story1879 in Spain, Marcelino (Antonio Banderas) discovers a cave that contains drawings from the Paleolithic Era (Stone Age). Of course, this claim is disputed as a forgery by the main Council of Anthropologists, the Catholic Church that criticized Marcelino for his scientific not religious views, the press that prints he is unfit to be a father and worse of all by Conchita (Golshifteh Farahani) his wife who sides with the Church. Most believed that the cavemen did not have the intellectual capacity to perform the drawings. Marcelino stands his ground although he is thoroughly humiliated. His 9-year old daughter Maria (Allegra Allen) who was the one who actually discovered the cave drawings of bisons stands by him. Marcelino determines how the cavemen did the drawings in a dark cave without putting soot on the ceilings. But he could not figure out why the walls showed bisons when no bison bones were ever found in the area. (The movie didn't address this either)I really liked the Confessional Scene between Conchita and the head priest when she tells him off really good and defends her husband . (Hey, I cheered when she did this) She came around when she learned how the Cavemen did the drawings without putting soot on the cave ceilings and then she tells Marcelino she wants to see the cave. It must have been her belief in him that mattered the most to Marcelino. And it should have. Marcelino learned that finding the truth isn't all that easy. After Marcelino's death, his chief critic, Emile Cartailhac (Clement Sibony), admitted his mistake and issued an apology in the main Anthropologic magazine. The acting all around is good, but when everyone spoke with a Spanish accent it was sometimes difficult to understand all dialogues, but we got the idea eventually. The young Maria was the only one who spoke clearly without any accent. (You go girl!)Go to Wikipedia to learn more about these famous Altamira drawings from the Paleolithic Era. Wikipedia says some of the drawings in that cave go back 35,000+ years. (7/10)Violence: No. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: No.
Pablo makes a fair point . But it was the family who owned the property that tried in vane to share this great discovery with the world and condemned as a fraud. As with anything discovery is not the be all and end all. A far more significant point to this story is about is the efforts to share this magnificent artifact with the world in the face of complete skepticism. Yes a shepherd / hunter found it but the journey is in getting people to understand the value in the history of mankind amid claims of fraud. This is an effort to view the far bigger picture the efforts to learn human history and just how relevant this find was relating to preserving a chapter in early mankind's history. the effort to share with the world is the story .pablo is looking through a more political lens. But at the time it seems few other than a determined landowner cared about the historical value . His efforts saved these magnificent artifacts bring attention to the story of mankind's history