May 29, 2024

Unknown: Cave of Bones 2023 Movie Review

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Unknown: Cave of Bones 2023 Movie Review

I was going to give this six stars but settled on a seven because this ‘potentially’ could be a real game changer, and I felt, after the last Unknown: segment of ‘lost pyramid’ sort of marred my opinion of this series of documentaries I should be fair.

So, this instalment involves a group of archaeologists and palaeontologists investigating a series of rather inaccessible caves in South Africa, where they have discovered a human ancestor ‘Homo Naledi’ burial site from 250,000 years ago.

Now, I’m obsessed with ancient history of all kinds so, like the last instalment, I was not going to miss, good or not.

Thankfully this documentary is far more in depth, far more fact based and far more interesting then their ‘lost pyramid’ episode. I wont ruin any of it for people who have not seen it, but its a really nicely put together, informative and interesting film, with some very effective artists impression animation to try and visualise these people and their possible movements and motivations.

Where this documentary falls short is it quite romanticised at times. This maybe down to the team who produced it. It makes a lot of assumptions and claims with, while possible, no evidence. And could have been made more credible by making far more likely claims like (slight spoiler), instead of attributing leaving a grave good as leaving a favourite object of a loved one, they attribute it solely as meditation on an afterlife. They also try to define a grave as definitively a burial and not funeral caching.

However, these are some really fascinating discoveries. It seems unlikely this was anything but intentional and does really combat the idea of ‘stupid caveman’ and you dont need a huge brain to care for your loved ones. We see the product of loss in many other animals today so why we dont give out own ancestors enough credit never made sense to me.

I really enjoyed this documentary. The cinematography is great, and although some of the interviews are slightly gushy, its really worth a watch. But take some of it with a pinch of salt.

Unknown: Cave of Bones 2023 Movie Review