Finding Altamira

Year of participation 2017
Program Retrospectives

Finding Altamira
Producer(s) Alvaro Longoria, Lucrecia Botín, Andy Paterson
Director(s) Hugh Hudson
Script José Luis López-Linares, Olivia Hetreed
Director of Photography José Luis Alcaine
Production designer Alejandro Fernández, Benjamín Fernández
Music by Mark Knopfler, Evelyn Glennie
Sound Dani Fontrodona
Edit Pia Di Ciaula
Cast Antonio Banderas, Golshifteh Farahani, Allegra Allen, Clement Sibony, Rupert Everett
Production company(-ies) Mare Nostrum Productions, El Maestro de Altamira, A.I.E., Fox International Productions


1879. Amidst the green hills, snow-capped peaks and dramatic coastline of Northern Spain, nine year old Maria Sautuola, and her father, Marcelino, an amateur archaeologist, discover something truly extraordinary, something that will change the history of mankind. The first cave art – breathtakingly fresh and accomplished paintings of galloping bison. At first all goes well, even the King comes to admire the cave, but Maria’s mother, the lovely and devout Conchita, is not the only one disturbed at the idea that prehistoric “savages” could have created such magnificent art. The Catholic Church sees the claim of ten thousand year old art as an attack on Biblical truth by Godless rationalists. Shockingly the scientists prove just as dogmatic and reactionary. Instead of examining the evidence, Carthailac, the leading prehistorian, condemns Marcelino and his discovery as fakes. Maria’s fairytale world grows dark and her attempts to help only make things worse. The family is thrown into crisis and the cave locked up. It takes all their love for each other to find a way through to redemption and recognition.

Moscow Cinema
 Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation
Festival Coverage