A lot happens in the French documentary, Babies. Children are born in four corners of the world (Tokyo, Namibia, Mongolia and San Francisco) and live the first 12 months of their lives.
But, some people may feel that not much happens at all.
The pace is slow. There is almost no dialogue. And, the camera focuses almost exclusively on the four babies who are the film's stars. Even the parents are seen (or heard, rather) mostly as disembodied voices.
The babies' lives couldn't be more different -- beginning with the circumstances of their birth. Some babies are born in a hospital and almost immediately hooked up to gizmos. Some are born to mothers, alone, in grass huts.
Hattie, the baby in San Francisco, lives a life of overindulged privilege. She goes to classes where babies sing and clap with their parents. The baby in Africa amuses himself by crushing rocks.
The San Francisco baby gets clean in the shower with her daddy. The Mongolian baby gets clean in a small tub full of water -- and shares the tub with a thirsty goat. The little boy in Africa gets licked clean by his mom.
But, the movie aims to show us the similarities among the babies rather than point out the profound differences. All across the globe, siblings battle each other. Pets patiently endure the unintended torture inflected on them by toddlers. And, mothers love and nurture their children using whatever tools they have at hand.
Babies (the movie), like babies (the human variety), may not be for everyone. But, I found it to be a little miracle. See it.