There are people, I’ve been told, who troll the Internet looking for cute things: kittens, baby chicks, puppies. People like that will no doubt adore director Thomas Balmes’s Babies.
For the rest of us, the experience lies somewhere between watching a compelling documentary and looking at a new mom’s pages of Facebook photos.
The title pretty much says it all: Balmes followed four babies from different parts of the planet—Namibia, Mongolia, Tokyo, and San Francisco—from birth to first steps. There is no dialogue, no narration. Mostly, he keeps the camera trained closely on the babies, like little silent film stars.
One thing I learned from watching Babies is this: if you watch babies closely—I mean really watch them—they’ll tell you everything you need to know about their needs. Frustrated, hungry, happy, curious—all these emotions play across the faces of our little squeezable heroes. And it’s captivating to watch them work things out—to learn to learn.
Still, I couldn’t help but to...