Good documentary! The film, stands on its own as a joyous celebration of the first year of life for four youngsters in different parts of the world. Filmed without narration, subtitles, or any comprehensible dialogue, Babies is a direct encounter with four babies who stumble their predictable ways to participating in the awesome beauty of life.Needless to say, their experience of the first year of life is vastly different, yet what stands out is not how much is different but how much is universal as each in their own way attempts to conquer their physical environment.Though the language is different as well as the environment, the babies cry the same, laugh the same, and try to learn the frustrating, yet satisfying art of crawling, then walking in the same way.You will either find Babies entrancing or slow moving depending on your attitude towards babies because frankly that's all there is, yet for all it will be an immediate experience far removed from the world of cell phones and texting, exploring up close and personal the mystery of life as the individual personality of each child begins to emerge. This documentary is not for everyone, I work with kids in these ages so I loved it.
Everybody loves...'Babies'. This visually stunning new movie simultaneously follows four babies around the world - from first breath to first steps. From Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo, 'Babies' joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all.
The differences between what children have and how they are raised are massive in some cases and it makes me think of all the things we "need" when a new baby is born. All of it seems a little silly at this point.
A look at one year in the life of four babies from around the world, from Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo.
Documentary style exposition of the first year or so of the lives and experiences of four tiny tots from four widely divergent cultures. We watch basically from their eager-to-learn perspectives as these debutantes to the world learn to embrace life through the cultural lens of their respective families.
The babies' individual stories are told concurrently, with little vignettes of parallel events shown side-by-side to compare and contrast how the rudimentary experiences common to all people are filtered into the different cultures and life styles, but not essentially different in the end. Learning to crawl, walk, how to interact with others, learning about self, etc. are all shown in the normal development chronology. The children hobble, falter, struggle, cry in anguish and frustration, make pratfalls, experiment, learn, and finally succeed. And then: move on to the next challenge in the crazy and wonderful journey of life.
It's difficult to watch the children when they fail or feel pain. It's also cute and funny as their unique personalities begin to emerge: the San Francisco baby has the most humorous moment with her logical and effective reaction to an irritating PC kiddy song. There's very little dialogue; only a few words by the adults is used, as necessary for a few key events. Usually there's cooing or crying by the little ones. The intent works: the kids are the stars.
A gentle documentary that intentionally paces slow and focuses on the babies and how they react. Sweet, joyous, and upbeat.
Ponjiao was undeniably adorable, Mari was cute, and Hattie was cute but her hippie tree-hugging parents were creepy. The movie focuses a bit too much on the Mongolian baby, Bayar but that shoudn't kill you. The point of the movie is to make you love all the babies.
Babies is a must-see. The viewing experience is enjoyable but don't let the infant and maternal nudity throw it off for you.
Nate's Grade: C+
The photography and musical score is very good. There is no voice over... just the babies cooing and gurgling and sometimes the mothers and fathers speaking their native tongue.
The fun part is to create you own narrative as the babies explore and wonder about the world around them. The themes of this movie were the differeneces between cultures but also the universality of man.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was the struggle and triumph of learning to stand and walk. Another funny part is when a Namibia baby discovers his penis for the first time and his older brother tries to tell him that it is private and keeps putting down his brother's flap while the baby keeps trying to lift it and inspect. It's a great way to spend 79 minutes so give it a try!
This PG-rated globe-trotting documentary follows four babies (San Francisco, CA; Japan; Mongolia; and Africa) ? chronicling everything from first breaths to baby steps ? simultaneously following the joyous and trying early stages of life.
After the heart-warming feel-good doc March of the Penguins went on to make $77 million at the box office, this reviewer was surprised that a documentarian hadn?t yet tried to capitalize on the aw-shucks cuteness of baby-fever. It takes a great deal of time, energy, and patience to make a proper documentary, however. There is no doubting director Thomas Balmes? work ethic, but his style leaves much to be desired. Yes, filmgoers get to see that all babies, regardless of culture, develop at pretty much the same clip. At 79 minutes, the doc cheats its subjects and audience of something much more substantial. Longer takes would have given viewers more of an emotional investment than a quick snack. Instead, the all-too-brief vignettes have the gnats-attention-span of a music video.
Bottom line: More wah-wah than rah-rah.