With a runtime of 93 minutes, Unknown: Cave Of Bones follows Lee Berger and his team as they embark on a thrilling journey. Berger is a Paleoanthropologist and a man who challenges the centuries-old belief of humans. Directed by Mark Munnucci, Unknown: Cave Of Bones is a part of the documentary film series, Unknown. Akin to the benchmark set by the other parts of this film series, Unknown: Cave Of Bones is a mind-numbing, exhilarating thriller.
This Netflix film asks a prominent question; are humans truly the only intelligent species capable of creative imagination and sentiments? As the film ventures down further into the web of deriving answers, it leaves shocking discoveries in its wake. In the end, Lee and his team finally discover the link between Homo Sapiens and Homo Naledis. Do you want to find out how? Dive in!
Unknown: Cave Of Bones Plot Synopsis
In 2013, a group of paleoanthropologists and historians claimed to have discovered a new species. This newfound species is claimed to be thousands of years older than the first human race discovered. Amid the roar of excitement was a feeling of dread slowly creeping over the world. It is our primal nature to consider humans as the best, isn’t it? This group of paleoanthropologists claim otherwise though.
A decade ago, in South Africa, Berger and his team discovered a couple hundred years old bones. Instead of believing these bones to be of ancient humans, the team started exploring the identity of what they deemed a possible new species. Crawling through rocky caves, overcoming the hurdles posed by the extreme conditions, they unearthed a couple more such bones. The exciting yet dread-inducing fact was the bones were buried in the caves similar to human burials. The burial technique thus became the first link to interweave Homo Sapiens aka humans and Homo Naledis.
Finding The Link Between Homo Naledis And Homo Sapiens
After squeezing themselves through the thin crests of rocks in the Rising Star Cave of South Africa, Berger and his team got their hands on a skull. As the research began, it was declared that the brain of this new species, Homo Naledi, was structurally similar to that of a human. Only, it was a bit too small compared to the human brain. The bones of this species closely resemble human bones, too.
It slowly became evident, Homo Naledi is the first-ever species to possess a creative brain. As Berger discovered a rock carved into a weapon, the hypothesis became extensive. Through a special technique, Berger found out that the rock was specifically carved to scribble on the caves and possibly hunt animals, too. As the research went forward, several theories were put forth. But the fact remained immobile; Homo Naledis were the first species to have created a tool using creative imagination that is not only a human right.
Unknown: Cave Of Bones Ending Explained
Lee’s curiosity wasn’t yet satiated because he kept digging and asking questions. The tool his team found served as the base of a myriad of questions. One of which was the reason the Homo Naledis stuffed the tool into the hand of the deceased before burying him. Did these Naledis understand empathy and compassion? What was their reason for burying their loved one? Did they believe in an afterlife? Hundred such questions emerged and the team considered answering these questions to be their duty.
They were flabbergasted and understood that their research would open up doors to more such questions. However, they remained unfazed. They continue their investigation and soon unveil a pattern. The Homo Naledis possessed the same level of empathy and emotions humans do. They buried their loved ones with the tool they used to carve walls to express their feelings. Centuries later, we still follow the same pattern sans burying a precious entity alongside the deceased. This serves as the final link between the two species.
Through graphic portrayals, Unknown: Cave Of Bones tries to weave a story in front of our eyes that I particularly find fascinating. It is due to this imagery that these Homo Naledis seem to be present in front of our eyes. Even with their significantly small brains and lack of proper understanding, the Homo Naledis laid the foundation of sculptures and symbols particularly hash (#). The film is a masterpiece, connecting the bridge between the two species and diving deep into the pool of emotions.