Babies (2010) is a French documentary movie which follows four beautiful babies through their first year of life: Ponijao (Opuwo, Namibia), Mari (Tokyo, Japan), Bayar (Bayanchandmani, Mongolia) and Hattie (San Francisco, California).
These four babies have been born into such different environments, families and situations. The most curious thing to observe though, is how they all achieve the important developmental milestones in their own ways. We are more similar than we are different. Director Thomas Balmès’ work is beautifully unforced, non judgmental, heartfelt and sincere, with plenty of humour. There are no words, only music (which is perfectly arranged), with real sounds woven in here and there to good effect. The cameras are unobtrusive, and catch some gorgeous moments. I would have loved to see all the unused footage too!
Babies learn through play, and this film is a wonderful lesson in what play, toys, play ‘spaces’ can look like – there’s no right or wrong way – just difference. Parenting styles are starkly different, but all four babies are completely loved. This is definitely a joyous, ‘feel good’ film, which left me with a warm, full heart… possibly also because I had a precious little 2 or 3 month old baby of my own – curled up, asleep on my lap in the cinema at the time!!
Check out the Babies movie website- get yourself a copy, forget the mess and disorder for 79 minutes, cross your fingers that your little one’s siesta lasts that long, kick back with a nice cuppa and enjoy 🙂