BABIES! Fri August 5, 2011

It's a film that's taken the world by storm, made across four continents, the four lead characters are on the ride of their lives. Thrills spills and adventures this film will hold you captivated from the very first frame but without a single word of dialogue. The film is called 'Babies' and it is directed by French Filmmaker Thomas Balmes.

BABIES is a French documentary by filmmaker Thomas Balmes. But you don't have to worry about subtitles with this one because all that you will hear are gurgles and occasional screams. It's about the first year of life of four babies in different parts of the world - Mari in Tokyo, Bayar in rural Mongolia, Hattie in San Francisco and Ponijao in Namibia. They are all just babies.

It doesn't matter where they're from or how sophisticated a life their parents lead, they're just babies.

This film has had audiences mesmerized in a way that is extraordinary. It's not as if there's a grand narrative, it's not as if we're being given penetrating and explained insight into cultural differences, although we do get that just by observing. It enters more powerful territory, because it reminds us of a time in life where the differences are actually non-existent, there are sibling rivalries in a couple of instances, mainly with the boys I might add, but that's it. These babies are remarkably similar in their development. Balmes has said that he made it as a One World parable. And that's what you come out of the film with. You might coo and goo during it, but you come out thinking that that's where the loss of innocence begins.

Further comments


DAVID: It's lovely. It's a very basic, very simple concept. I was slightly puzzled by the fact that, given that it's a French film, none of the babies are from Europe and that was interesting to me but they are beautiful children and it's totally fascinating - as you used the word "mesmerising", it's true. Just to see how they - and it's suspenseful too. There's that scene in Mongolia where the cockerel comes onto the bed where the child is and you think, oh, my God, what's going to happen here?

MARGARET: It's funny but if you say to people you're going to watch an hour and a half of babies in the first year of life with no dialogue, people go, I'd rather watch paint dry. No, you wouldn't. This is so fabulous. I really think it is amazingly insightful and poignant because it is a time of innocence and you grow up and you get all these things that make us cruel and horrible to one another and there's a sadness at the end.

DAVID: Yes, I think that's true. As I said it's a very small film but it's quite delightful in many ways.

MARGARET: I think it's grand in concept. Look, I'm giving it four stars. I think it's wonderful.

DAVID: I'm giving it three and a half.


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