Irish Film Institute -BABIES


Director: Thomas Balmes

France • 2010 • 79 minutes

Following four newborns in Japan, Mongolia, Namibia and the U.S. over their first year, Thomas Balmes’ ‘wildlife film on human babies’, told without narration or subtitles, is a heart-warming depiction of the commonality of human development. Over the documentary’s duration, the viewer becomes invested in these young lives as they explore, interact with, and make sense of their world, sympathising with their tragedies and rejoicing in their triumphs. While the cuteness factor of the ‘stars’ is hard to overlook (and impossible to resist), food for thought is provided by the cultural differences in childrearing between the urban and agrarian societies portrayed. Although the director largely refrains from passing judgement, some pointed editing gives an occasional clear indication of his opinion. Beautifully shot, and frequently hilarious, Babies is a joy.

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