Movie Review: Babies


Title: Babies
Release Date: 7 May 2010
Director: Thomas Balmès
Production Co: Canal+
Country:  France
Language: English | Japanese | Mongolian
Genre: Documentary
Rating: ***1/2

Summary/Review:

It does what it says on the tin, 75 minutes or so of babies from birth through their first birthday without narration and very little context.  And who doesn’t love babies?  Four babies are featured, two from rural communities in Namibia and Mongolia, and two urban infants from Tokyo and San Francisco.  There’s not much structure as it really is footage of babies doing the things babies do.  I really like the scenes like the one of Mari from Japan having a really frustrating time with her toys and kicking the floor in a tantrum.  Of course there is a hidden structure as the filmmakers have selected what scenes to include and arranged them so that they often show contrasts between the modernized and developing parts of the world.  They also often exclude other people – even the parents although you can hear there voices offscreen – and focus on isolated babies in an almost unnatural state.  Animals are popular theme too.  Three of the babies have pet cats in the family, while Ponijao of Namibia lives on a farm and interacts with a lot of domesticated animals.  Overall it’s a very mellow movie and while I kind of feel there should be something more to it, I did appreciate a lot of what it is.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. This is the first of a planned trilogy. Next up: kittens. Then puppies.

    Reply

  2. I mean really — how could you go wrong with footage of cuteness happening. (Betsy and I reacted basically the way you did.)

    Reply

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