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The story of nine-year old Maria and her father Marcelino who, in 1879, found the first pre-historic cave paintings at the now world famous Altamira cave.

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Altamira movie full length review - Interesting & Well Presented

Antonio Banderas stars here as Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, a well-to-do Spanish jurist and amateur archaeologist, on whose land was found the cave that became the first location where wall paintings of prehistoric man were discovered-in the Cave of Altamira, in the late 1870's.

Actually, it was Sautuola's 9-year-old daughter Maria, wonderfully portrayed by Allegra Allen, who actually spotted the paintings on the ceiling of the cave first.

Being a man of science and seeker of truth, Sautuola immediately recognized the historic significance of this find. However, he will soon find himself embroiled in conflict with the powerful Spanish Church, important members of the scientific community who doubt the paintings' authenticity, and even his own wife Conchita (Golshifteh Farahani) who is conflicted between supporting her husband and her own devotion to the Church.

All in all, I thought this film, ably directed by Hugh Hudson (Chariots of Fire), who is making a return to the silver screen after a 16 year hiatus, with a solid script from Olivia Hetreed and Jose Luis Lopez-Linares, was well presented and absorbing, and if you like this type of cerebral historical drama I would recommend it.