I'm not going to spoil the film for you, except to tell you that this is a documentary about (and largely by) babies. If you're not into them, you won't like the movie, so don't waste your time. As it happens, since my daughter is on the precipice of motherhood, and I am due to be a grandmother, we are all about the baby toes and baby cheeks and baby gurgles and coos. We loved it.
The babies are from vastly different worlds -- a tribe in Namibia, herdsmen in Mongolia, a young, upwardly mobile couple from Tokyo, and a crunchy granola couple from San Francisco. Differing cultural practices of child-rearing aside, Balmès does manage to show that mothers and babies speak a universal language.
Here is the trailer for the movie. By the end, you should be able to tell if you want to see it or not.
Meanwhile, the movie made me compile a list of things we can learn from the movie... to whit:
Things We Can Learn From the Babies in "Babies":
- Pets are fun, be they dogs, cats, goats, cattle, or even a rather arrogant rooster.
- Getting a bath from Mommy in Namibia is not all it's cracked up to be. (Think "spit bath", cubed.)
- If you are tempted to leave me alone in the care of my older brother, cousin, uncle or even, on occasion, my own father, for the sake of my safety and well-being, please think again.
- Crawling is better than nothing, walking is better than crawling, but running at top speed until I fall on my nose beats everything all to hell and back.
- Song circles are stupid and creepy, no matter what language they're in.
- The "I throw it down, you pick it up" game... man, that just never gets old, does it?
- American parents need to take a deep breath and calm the hell down. Put the hand sanitizer down and back away slowly, folks.
- It's amazing the amount of dirt human babies can actually ingest before their first birthdays and still live to tell the tale.
- You can get both cellphone reception and wireless broadband anywhere, even in a yert in the middle of Mongolia. So why can't I talk on my cellphone in my kitchen in Reseda?
- Song circles really are stupid and creepy, no matter what language they're in. (No. Really. I'm serious. Stop it.)
Happy Mothers Day.