- 1 hr 19 min
Babies is a documentary film that follows the lives of four babies from different parts of the world; Bayar from Mongolia, Hattie from San Francisco, Mari from Japan, and Ponijao from Namibia. The movie shows the daily routines of these babies, and how they interact with their surroundings and their families. The film opens with Bayar, who is born in a yurt, a traditional Mongolian tent. Bayar's family is nomadic, and they travel through the vast, rugged landscapes of Mongolia with their livestock. The movie shows Bayar as he grows up in this remote and harsh environment, surrounded by his family, and the animals that they raise. The scenes of Bayar's family are often accompanied by the sound of traditional Mongolian music, which adds to the documentary's atmospheric quality.
The next baby we meet is Hattie, a Japanese-American infant who is born in a hospital in San Francisco. Unlike Bayar's lifestyle, Hattie's family lives in an upscale urban neighborhood, with their apartment providing a sharp contrast to Bayar's yurt. The film shows Hattie and her family as they go about their daily lives, from visiting the local farmer's market to attending music classes. We also see her interacting with the family cat and observing her parents as they work from home. Hattie's family speaks mostly English, which is a stark difference from Bayar's family, who speak almost exclusively Mongolian.
The third baby we meet is Mari, born in Tokyo, Japan. The director follows Mari from the day she is born until she takes her first steps. We see her doing tummy time with her mother, receiving a massage, and playing with her toys. Her parents' lifestyle is modern and urban, with scenes of them driving through Tokyo, and visiting a crowded shopping district called Harajuku. Mari's parents frequently communicate in Japanese, and the movie provides subtitles for clarity.
The fourth and final baby is Ponijao, who is born in a village in Namibia, Africa. Ponijao's family is also nomadic, and they live in a small settlement with other families. We see Ponijao playing with her siblings and other children, observing adults as they go about their daily tasks, and even breastfeeding from a goat. Like Bayar's scenes, the movie is accompanied by traditional African music when focusing on Ponijao's segments.
Babies has no narrator, dialogue or commentary, but instead relies on visuals and sound to tell the story of the four infants. The cinematography is stunning, capturing the natural beauty of each of the locations, and the vibrant colors of the clothing and daily lives of each of the families. The sound design is pivotal in setting the mood in the movie, inspiring the viewer with the sense of each distinct culture. The soundtrack features a range of music styles and sounds, drawing on the traditional art forms of each culture as well as modern sounds.
The movie ultimately aims to emphasize that despite the different cultures and living environments, all babies grow up in similar ways. The documentary portrays these infants' unique lifestyles to showcase the incredible diversity of culture around the world. It shows how the natural environment and daily life experiences shape these babies' lives, giving them a glimpse into the world's beauty that exists outside their language or their immediate environment.
In conclusion, Babies is a visually stunning and captivating documentary that provides a window into the world of four very different babies from across the globe. The movie manages to capture the specialness and distinct features of each infant's culture while also showcasing the innate similarities around the globe. With no language or dialogue, the movie creates a multisensory experience that provides an impressive palette of imagery and sound. It's a documentary full of joy and curiosity that viewers of all ages can enjoy.
Babies is a 2010 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 19 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 63.