by award-winning filmmaker Thomas Balmes, from an original
idea by producer Alain Chabat, Babies simultaneously follows
four babies around the world - from birth to first steps.
The children are respectively in order of on-screen introduction:
Ponijao, who lives with her family near Opuwo, Namibia; Bayarjargal
who resides with his family in Mongolia near Bayanchandmani;
Mari who lives with her family in Tokyo, Japan and Hattie
who resides with her family in the United States in San Francisco.
Redefining the nonfiction art form, Babies joyfully captures
on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that
are at once unique and universal to us all.
is a reason why parents like to take photographs and videos
of their newborns. Babies are the cutest beings in the world.
Who can resist pinching the pink and rosy cheek of an adorable
baby girl? Who can resist poking fun of a mischievous baby
boy? Who can resist the opportunity to take a photograph with
a drooling baby – and realise that age has not done
anything great to that aged looking face of yours? If babies
make you go all gaga and giggly, then this documentary is
a must watch for you.
You’d think that documentaries are
theme laden and filled with voiceovers and interviews, but
this Thomas Balmes directed documentary does something different.
There are no voiceovers and interviews, and there is really
not much of a message to deliver in this 75 minute documentary,
because it is simply a look at one year in the life of four
babies from around the world, from Mongolia to Namibia to
San Francisco to Tokyo. If it’s of any importance to
you, their names are Ponjiao (from Namibia), Bayar (from Mongolia),
Mari (from Tokyo) and Mari (from San Francisco).
You may already have noticed that there is
a nice contrast of where the babies come from. You’ll
be brought to the wild outlands, a rural village, an Asian
city and a Western state to see how different babies grow
up in different environments and living conditions. Being
brought up in this tiny island of ours, there is really much
more out there that we haven’t experienced, and what
better way to see things from babies’ points of view.
The adventure of a lifetime first pulls you
in with, well, babies. There is a universal attraction towards
these adorable beings, and once you are done making “ooohs”
and “aaahs” about how cute they are, you’ll
be noticing how culture plays a part in shaping the babies’
lives. You’ll also realise how universal parental love
is. It doesn’t matter which part of the globe the babies’
parents come from, they have an affection which you and I
are familiar with.
Just when some of you may wonder “how
long can I be amused with four babies making cooing sounds”,
the film also cleverly uses music composed by Bruno Coulais
to sustain your attention. The light hearted score complements
the energetic pacing of the documentary, making every moment
To round up this review, maybe it’s
apt that I dedicate this writeup to our webmaster, who just
became a father to an adorable princess a few months ago.
If there’s anything to go by, he would be the best person
to relate to the theme of this documentary.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
do not have any complaints about visual transfer of the movie.
It is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0.
by John Li
on 5 December 2010