Release Date: May 5
I think it’s hard for a man to understand the universal female fascination with newborn babies. The first words that come out of a woman visiting a hospital room are invariably, “Ohhhhhh … so cute!” – even though the tightly wrapped bundle has little more than a hand’s-breadth of flesh visible. But then some version of that feeling inevitably seeps into their hearts after awhile – otherwise, how do you explain the equally bizarre male conviction that their son or daughter is ‘a real looker’? It’s our universal fascination with the littlest members of the human race that fuels a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Thomas Balmès.
Described as ‘the adventure of a life-time’, Babies simultaneously follows the lives of four babies around the world through the first year of their lives. The countries and cultures they grow up in couldn’t be any more different. Ponijao lives with her family in the dry countryside of Namibia; Bayarjargal dwells with his family on the grass plains of Mongolia; Mari lives with her family in electric streets of Tokyo, Japan; and Hattie has her home with her family in suburban San Francisco, USA. Together they piece together everything that is unique and universal about life between birth and baby’s first steps.
Babies could have ended up looking like a collection of family videos, sentimental and unconnected. But Balmès has managed to bottle the simple joy of watching babies come to grips with their world. Their responses are so easily recognizable that it immediately puts the lie to any suggestion that God created us to be anything other than equal. Their dependence is so obvious Babies acts as a reminder that we all need someone greater than ourselves to keep us from the mischief we create. No wonder God’s wants us to call him Father.