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Mary Helen Ayres,
Enter the world of undisturbed birth as 11 couples share their intimate personal journeys, facing their fears and moving through pain into the ecstasy of birth. Orgasmic Birth poses the ultimate challenge to our cultural myths.
When "Babies" comes out on DVD, it will be the perfect baby shower present for any parents-to-be. From the opening sequence with its variety of birth preparations, delivery environments, and the way that different cultures welcome new life, the viewer is given rare glimpses of a beginning. From there the filmmaker features the developing personalities of the respective babies.
The Mongolian baby is swaddled and often left alone with the occasional rooster and later toddles along alone among the cattle. His big brother is a bully, but he learns to stand on his own.
In Namibia, the baby is immediately socialized with other babies and children. The community of mothers share nipples, grooming, and other responsibilities, but mostly seem willing to let the babies learn their own lessons in their own ways. Not only do we see babies eating just about anything discovered on the ground, or crawling through the dusty plains, but we also enjoy their wild joy during play or dance.
The temper-tantrum of the Japanese toddler was one of the most delightful segments of "Babies". The little girl's world, carefully observed from her first moments, is nurtured by devoted urban parents whose world view is from a tall apartment building.
Born to earthy San Franciscan parents, the American baby is the center of her parent's universe. Her world is full of books, pets and parks. Some might consider her over-indulged, but her parents seem mellow and mature as they prepare their daughter for a future that she'll share with children from Namimbia, Mongolia, Tokyo, and every other global neighborhood.
I appreciated many moments during the many vignettes that linked developmental milestones of the four babies. The film demonstrated how much more alike we all once were before we learned to abide by this ideology, or that cultural construct. Whether our nourishment comes from a disemboweled goat, a cardboard box, or a farmer's market, we all require a connection with something grander and greater than ourselves.
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