I love documentaries. It’s probably the one reason we own and watch Netflix so much. Today I finally got the time to watch the 2010 documentary “Babies“. It’s the story of four babies born in different parts of the world – San Francisco, Tokyo, Mongolia and Namibia – and the pictorial of their first year of life.
If you’re looking for a detailed account of how parents or babies are different, you won’t find it here. But what you will find is a movie with no narration at all. The story is told simply with video which focuses on the interaction between the babies and their surroundings. Music and the baby’s sounds, as well as the parents voices, though very much in the background and not the important part of the story, are the only sounds. It’s visually stunning and moves from mud hut to high rise in an instant.
The movie is both heartwarming and horrific by our western standards. Watching the disparaging difference between the cultures is difficult, and yet I had to remind myself repeatedly that because it’s different from our experience, it doesn’t mean I should be grossed out by it. When you see how the Namibian women handle a baby’s feces or cleaning the baby’s face, you’ll know what I mean.
My husband and I are well into our “golden years” and it’s been years since we’ve had a baby in the house, but there’s still something magical about a baby smiling in her sleep or trying out new sounds. We loved being reminded of all of the first year stages our own children went through. And we loved how this documentary showed that it doesn’t matter where in the world that child is, they all share the same look of accomplishment when he or she stands for the first time, and they’re all adorable and lovable.
Watch the Official “Babies” Movie Trailer
There is some minor nudity beyond breastfeeding, but I believed this movie is perfectly acceptable for children and teens. It’s a great vehicle to start a conversation about how lucky we are that by our random birth alone, we’re living in a world where ridiculous amounts of baby supplies and toys are the norm, instead of in Namibia where flies and bones are a baby’s toys.
If you haven’t seen the movie, now’s a good time. It’s on Netflix Streaming or you can purchase it from Amazon.com via download and disc. It’s definitely a movie I’ll watch again. If you’ve seen it, I’m curious if you felt blessed like I did afterward. I try not to take our luxuries for granted and I try to share them with the rest of the world through charitable work.
- Directors: Thomas Balmes
- Genres: Art/Foreign, Documentary and Kids/Family
- Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
- Rated: PG (PG for cultural and maternal nudity throughout)
- Studio: Focus Features
- DVD Release Date: September 28, 2010
- Run Time: 79 minutes
- Official “Babies” Website (a Focus Features Film)
Photo Credit: Amazon.com DVD cover; Baby’s Photos www.focusfeatures.com
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