'Babies' celebrates cuties across cultures - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

'Babies' celebrates cuties across cultures

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Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010 11:48 am

The new documentary “Babies” proves the point that no matter what you do when you’re a baby, it’s just so darn cute.

It doesn’t matter if the baby is scrunching her face while going to the bathroom in her diaper, pulling the cat by its tail or unrolling the toilet paper and then eating it, everyone in the audience is laughing or saying “Awwww!”

The documentary shows the entire goings on of four babies in four very different parts of the world during their first year.

There is really no dialogue, other than the parents talking to the baby. The camera settles on the babies’ lives while they eat, breastfeed, bathe, play, fight, crawl and then walk.

Ponijao, who lives with her family near Opuwo, Namibia, is always covered in dirt and walking around in just a loin cloth. There are lots of kids nearby as she often picks up things from the ground and puts them in her mouth.

Bayarjargal, who resides with his family in Mongolia, near Bayanchandmani is first seen being wrapped in a tight blanket with ribbon, like a present, and then driven away on a motorcycle in his mom’s arms.

Most of the things that happen to these babies in these Third World countries may make you cringe. If it happened in the states, it might be considered child abuse, like when you see the Mongolian baby tethered to the bed with a rope when no one seems to be around, or the African baby’s mom cutting his hair with a big knife.

I guess that’s how they do it in those countries. And that’s what makes this movie interesting, exploring the different cultures of how moms raise their babies.

Mari, who lives with her family in Tokyo, Japan, has a young life more Americans are used to. Her mom writes a message using ink on her little feet. I’m guessing it’s some sort of good luck message.

Hattie, who resides with her family in San Francisco, is first shown hooked up to every machine possible in the hospital, showing how different her birth is compared to the African babies’ birth.

The film pans back and forth between each baby and is directed by award-winning filmmaker Thomas Balmès from an original idea by producer Alain Chabat.

The cute faces of these four babies will make anyone’s day, and is sure to be a great film to watch on Mother’s Day.


Rating: PG for cultural and maternal nudity throughout

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