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Babies sucks its thumb 

Thomas Balmès' film shows that nurturing is universal.

Four families from around the world---Namibia, Mongolia, Japan and the US---raise newborn babies. French documentarian Thomas Balmès employs an innocent, wide-eyed gaze that reflects his subjects. The footage is compiled in a calm, even-handed and unassuming way, so a scene like a farm animal breaking into the Mongolian family’s cozy yurt, or the Namibian child innocently toying with the jaws of the local mutt, play with an understated humor, not inherent danger. The children’s dawning consciousness and beguiling curiosity form the arc of Babies, and it is interesting to note that the attention and mothering the kids receive is exactly the same across the globe---only the surroundings are markedly different. Babies shows that nurturing is universal, but nature is relative.


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Vol 24, No 22
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