la joie de vivre

From California to Lyon, France: living & studying abroad…and coming back!

French film: Bébés (Babies)

You may not know it from watching it (because babies don’t talk!), but this is a French movie known in the States as Babies.

love, silliness, adventures, and falls

Directed by Thomas Balmès, this movie follows the journey of 4 babies from different walks of life: Bayarjargal from Mongolia, Hattie from the United States, Mari from Japan, and Ponijao from Namibia.

Together, these little ones show us just how similar we all are.

But it also shows differences, as Balmès points out in an interview:

“I think the big surprise is how we in the West and I as a parent myself are relying on toys and objects to fill up every moment of our kids’ lives. I’ve been amazed by how the Mongolian and African baby could develop a relationship to a fly, the wind or a piece of grass. This is a lesson to any Western parent. Those kids can grow up well with nothing. They’re not poor; it’s just a different type of wealth. For instance, the Himba tribe in Namibia measures wealth by cattle. The same thing with the Mongolian family. They have a different relationship with goods than we have in the West. That’s the main thing I learned.”

It’s an adorable movie, but it’s not for everyone. It concentrates on small moments of life, much like L’argent de poche. One of my interests is developmental psychology, so I thought it was really cool to see the babies explore their world and interact with the people around them. There’s little plot and little dialogue, but if you’re looking for something different and you love babies, I definitely recommend checking this movie out :)

And if you want to see the very stupidly funny parody, click here (but you’ve been warned, it is definitely only for people who enjoy stupid/weird comedies!). After the first scene, I just can’t keep it together!

Picture credit: film poster (


P.S. That interview brings up an interesting point on how movies often have different versions for different audiences – and that doesn’t mean just the music – it could involve music, edits, jokes, scenes, endings, and the like. But Babies is the same everywhere. Nice consistency with the message of the movie, no?

“In terms of structure, the editing was very delicate. With such a simple story, there were millions of films possible. We had to do something which could fit different expectations, knowing that it would be released internationally. I’m happy, which is not always the case, to have only one version of the film. For instance, March of the Penguins had a French version, an American version and an international version. The editing and music in Babies are the same everywhere.”


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This entry was posted on April 20, 2012 by in French & Francophone Movies.
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