Secrets of the Neanderthals (2024)

Secrets of the Neanderthals (2024)

This plodding, unenergetic documentary sees neanderthals and humans as two branches on the same tree

6.0

Movie

United Kingdom
English
Documentary
2024
ASHLEY GETHING, FEMALE DIRECTOR
Caroline Colomei, Gabriel Andreu, Ibbi El Hani
81 min

TLDR

It’s a field trip that sounded better on paper and dares overstay its welcome.

What it's about

Archeologists shed light on how similar neanderthals might have been to humans in the ability to care, and why we might want to rethink the common misconceptions of what a neanderthal is.

The take

If you love archeology and prehistory, you’ll love that this documentary is packed with mesmerizing footage of the infamous caves, as well as close-ups of the 130,000 year old skeletal remains that are in pristine condition. If you don’t, you might appreciate discoveries like how neanderthals held burials for their dead and things of that nature, but with a cold open that couldn’t pack any less heat if it tried, I wouldn’t blame you if you just dipped. This documentary is de-energizing and plodding, and that pace can make for a soothing portrayal of archeology at times, but other times it makes for a very run-of-the-mill broadcast.

What stands out

The recreation of the female neanderthal face is so cool. I’m so sad it was such a short bit.

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