Werner Herzog Talks Culture and Caves

The AV Club interviews Werner Herzog. Sample—

AVC: In 20,000 years, could it be our culture that’s discovered in a cave somewhere?

WH: In 20,000 years, there will be significant things in the environment that will be preserved, like certain dams. Like Vajont Dam near Longarone [Italy], where there was this catastrophic event almost 50 years ago now. An incredibly massive landslide came down into the lake. The entire lake, over 50 billion cubic meters, shot up into the air in a tsunami of 700 feet that came down in this gorge and wiped out the town of Longarone. I have studied the place over and over. I do my pilgrimages to the place. At its base, [the dam] is something like a hundred feet thick. The steel-reinforced concrete. The whole thing is about 180 meters at its highest, and it withstood the landslide coming into it. It’s still intact, and most of it will be intact hundreds of thousands of years from now. So in the future, when people are looking for the Neanderthals of the 21st century, they will see our traces standing in open air. They will see the sarcophagus of Chernobyl, which is going to be built over it now. It will be there in 20,000 years. They won’t have to search in a cave.

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