No matter where you are from, watching these babies is universally appealing.
I just watched the delightful documentary Babies, a film that took three years to make. The film follows four babies from their first breaths to their first steps. What made the film fascinating was seeing the cultural differences in the babies’ home environments. The children were from very diverse locations: Mongolia, Tokyo, San Francisco, and Namibia.
I particularly loved the interactions that the babies had with their family’s animals. In Mongolia, the baby constantly interacted with roosters, cats, goats, and cattle, and in ways that would likely shock any American mother. In one scene, a small herd of young cattle surround the toddler who struggles to maintain her perch on an overturned metal tub—which is only slightly above the level of the cattle’s knees! In another scene, a rooster hops up on the infant’s bed in the yurt where she lives. And at another time, a goat pokes its head through the open window of the yurt and begins to drink out of the baby’s bathwater—with the baby sitting in it.
The African mother is similarly completely at home in her very earthy environment, offering her breast to both her younger child and his older sibling. This is breastfeeding at its most organic and “on demand.” I loved a scene in which the mother is teaching her little boy how to walk with something on his head—a task that his older sibling helps with. With this early training, you can see that he will be able to use his head to transport heavy objects at a later point in his life.
The filmmakers went back later when the babies were four years old and showed the film to each of the parents. Those scenes are after the credits, so if you see this film, make sure you watch until the end.
This film was mesmerizing, delightful, and a celebration of humanity in all its colorful variety. I particularly loved watching all the babies laughing and playing with their parents and siblings. No matter what language you speak or what country you live in, watching these babies is universally appealing. This is a film to watch with your family.