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Finding Altamira (2016)

Altamira (original title)
1:43 | Trailer

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Life and events of the man who realized one of the most important discoveries of the 19th century: Altamira's caves.


Hugh Hudson





Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio Banderas ... Marcelino
Clément Sibony ... Émile Cartailhac
Rupert Everett ... Monseñor
Javivi ... Harlé (as Javivi Gil Valle)
Irene Escolar ... María adulta
Pierre Niney ... Paul Ratier
Nicholas Farrell ... Vilanova
Allegra Allen Allegra Allen ... Young María Sautuola
Lluís Soler Lluís Soler ... Mero
Tábata Cerezo ... Pasi
Golshifteh Farahani ... Conchita
Chantal Garsan Chantal Garsan ... Soprano
Concha Hidalgo ... Marquesa
Katie Paterson Katie Paterson ... Carolina
Henry Goodman ... De los Ríos


Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola y de la Pedrueca, in 1868, accidentally discovered Paleolithic paintings with the help of a hunter named Modesto Cubillas inside Altamira's caves, located in Cantabria, north to Spain. Trying to expose their discovery to the academic world for that they study the paintings, Sautuola crashed against the skepticism and discredit of all experts, who claimed that the caves were false and the paintings made for the own Sautuola, in a effort to get rich. Looking for the truth, Sautuola was the rest of his life fighting to prove that those paintings were real, trying to restore his innocence from the accusations of falsehood launched against him. Written by Chockys

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some secrets are too powerful to hide.


Drama | History


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Official Sites:

Official site


UK | France | Spain



Release Date:

1 April 2016 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Finding Altamira See more »


Box Office


€8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€444,107 (Spain), 1 April 2016, Limited Release
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Antonio Banderas was offered to visit the real Altamira cave, but he refused the offer. The cave has been closed to the general public since 2002 because public attendance was deteriorating the paintings. Banderas felt unfair to be granted a special permission and instead worked on the faithful replica which was built in a museum near the cave in 2001. See more »


The sardine can in which the maid placed the burning marrow was clearly of modern stamped two piece construction rather than the three piece soldered type. Also, key opened cans weren't invented until 1889. See more »


Composed by Mark Knopfler & Evelyn Glennie
(p) © 2016 Will D. Side Limited, under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited
M. Knofler cues published by Will D. Side Ltd/ Hornsall Brothers Music Ltd.
E. Glennie cues published by Rights Worldwide Ltd. / Faber Music Ltd.
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User Reviews

Beautiful and captivating
26 March 2017 | by garcianc2003See all my reviews

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.

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