If you've seen the previews, what you see is what you get. Babies is a look at four different cultures, four different places and four different babies. The "story" begins with two babies fighting, then moves into "A Few Months Earlier" and the Namibian mother's very pregnant belly and her rubbing brick dust into her skin. The film then moves on to each of the babies first hours after birth, slowly following each family as they live their lives, one developmental step at a time.
Most of the time it's just the babies on the screen, the parents are usually not present and most shots are of the babies interacting with their locations and life. Each of the babies and families have all sorts of unique situations, animals, toys, hygiene, clothing, and it was fascinating to take a peek into the different cultures. I can tell you that I'm glad I gave birth in an American hospital and that I had access to diapers after taking a peek at Africa and Mongolia.
There is very little talking, and if there is it is mostly background noise. Many, many adorable shots of babies dealing with life fill the hour and a half, and some shots were so cute it was totally worth the slow bits. If nursing mothers are an issue be forewarned that nursing is part of the film. One mom even squirts milk in her baby's face then wipes it off along the lines of the standard mom spit bath thing.
BABIES is a feel good movie that arguably has absolutely no point, or is very profound. It is a documentary that essentially films the first year or so in the lives of 4 babies from vastly different parts of the globe. We simply observe them eating, evacuating, smiling, discovering their toes, learning to crawl, learning to play, and so on. Certainly babies are cute, and it's easy to get an adult audience to smile with and laugh at these silly little creatures. That could … more
Usually, babies just burp, poop, and sleep. Yet, Babies still manages to be an entertaining movie. It follows four babies, one from Namibia, Mongolia, Japan, and the U.S. each. At a certain point, the movie isn't so much about watching cute little babies (although there is plenty of that), but rather gaining an appreciation of just how differently some kids are raised. The sleek daycare in Tokyo is contrasted with the farm animals in Mongolia and the dusty abandonment of rural Namibia. Thus, the … more
The babies in Babies are four newborns, photographed in their natural habitat in distinctly different parts of the world. Hattie is in San Francisco, Mari's in Tokyo, Baryarjargal lives out in the Mongolian steppes, and Ponijao is born amid the simple straw huts of Namibia. In the course of less than 80 minutes, we're going to follow this quartet through their first year of life, a chronicle that director Thomas Balmes and producer Alain Chabat have likened to a nature documentary that happens to focus on humans. We can cut to the chase here and say that above and beyond any sociological weight this project might possess, this film's main method can be summed up in the words of David Byrne and Talking Heads from the song "Stay Up Late": "See him drink / From a bottle / See him eat / From a plate / Cute cute / As a button /Don't you want to make him stay up late." In short, babies are cute, babies are funny, and a camera focused on a baby is going to catch the sudden mood shifts and clunky crawling and all the other ingredients of home movies. Along the way, we may pause to notice the cultural differences between the locales, as the American baby seems elaborately nurtured (maybe baby yoga classes could wait a year?) and the African baby views a world just as full of wonder and newness as anywhere else, despite the material poverty of the locale. The Namibia and Mongolia sequences are certainly more arresting than the two urban sections, ...