For Mother’s Day (because I you know, have this friend who’s pregnant – the same friend who I also ask the school nurse about because of jock-strap itch, a weird toe fungus, and a burning sensation when he pees)…well, for Mother’s Day, my husband took me to see Babies in the movie theater. It was packed and at least half of the women were as round as my friend. Who knew there were so many pregnant people in Los Angeles? This recession is causing a new baby boom!
First of all, holy gamoly was that baby from Mongolia cute. Now I have wanted a Mongolian baby ever since I saw the movie Mongol about Genghis Khan years ago. You can see the little boy here in all three pictures on the right. That kid was more entertaining to watch then Tom Cruise dressed up as a fat, swarthy producer at the end of Tropic Thunder. A close second was the child from Africa and tying for third were the little girls from San Francisco and Tokyo. But it’s not a contest. They all were wonderful children.
The film almost wordlessly documents 1 year, from birth to walking, in the lives of 4 different infants. In Africa, a mother licks her child clean, wipes his poo off on her knee, and feeds him milk as she skins a dog for dinner. The child crawls in the dirt, plays with flies, and seems about as happy and well-loved as a little one can be. In Tokyo, there are classes and toys and walks and zoos and many many stimulating toys. The baby already shows signs of becoming a great achiever, full of stress and accomplishment and world domination. She’ll be performing brain surgery in no time. In San Francisco, the child is exposed to all different colored baby dolls, numerous books including No Hitting, and songs about mother earth and kumbaya. Her toys are wooden and organic and racially friendly and she will probably become a wonderful environmental attorney. And finally, in Mongolia, little Bayar plays with cows and chickens and an incredibly patient cat. His brother, much to Bayar’s confusion, keeps trying to get rid of him, but Bayar finds his way home time and time again. Where his parents are is anyone’s guess. Perhaps out with the livestock. But Bayar seems to have a good time even when mom leaves him tied to a bed.
I recommend this movie even if you don’t have a friend who’s about to have a baby. It’s a really neat look at the world and at how kids don’t need much except for food and love. Potaeto Potahto – they all end up growing older and taking their first steps.