February 5, 2011
. The French documentary “Babies” follows four children from Namibia, Japan, Mongolia and California from the day of their birth to their first steps. The film, directed by Thomas Balmes, was released last May in the United States.
The camera follows these children recording every surprise, emotion and new discovery during their first year of life and how little by little they become aware of their surroundings.
The director said the process of shooting was “meticulous and methodical but that no scene was set up beforehand.” They tried to conceal themselves as much as they could so the babies would act as naturally as possible. In fact, they would stop shooting if a child became aware of their presence.
The movie doesn't try to make any political statements about babies from wealthier families. The creator's aim was “simply to present four completely different environments.”
The documentary focuses on the earliest stages of life, universal and unique to every human being and in the care of these babies. The music is by the French composer Bruno Coulais and the original idea came from producer Alain Chabat.