Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Babies

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Babies

Article excerpt

BABIES

Directed by Thomas Balmes (Focus Features, 2010)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

French filmmaker Thomas Balmes had a simple and brilliant idea: Put four babies in front of a camera for the first year of their lives and just sit back and watch in wonder.

Of course anyone who has ever been forced to sit through more than 20 minutes of a neighbor's home movies of their toddlers knows that Balmes and his crews had to do a little more than just let the cameras roll. Editing four years of filming into a two-hour narrative exploring the genuinely miraculous development of four remarkably distinct yet strikingly similar little humans took more than a bit of the curiosity, intellect, patience, and passion Balmes shows in his presentation of these babies.

In Babies we travel to Mongolia, Namibia, Tokyo, and San Francisco to meet Bayarjargal, Ponijao, Marl, and Hattie, four tykes growing up in vastly different societies, learning language, culture, coordination, and social skills at a speed that would terrify a downhill racer. …

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