Birth: it's a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her ... See full summary »
Mary Helen Ayres,
Documentary style exposition of the first year or so of the lives and experiences of four tiny tots from four widely divergent cultures. We watch basically from their eager-to-learn perspectives as these debutantes to the world learn to embrace life through the cultural lens of their respective families.
The babies' individual stories are told concurrently, with little vignettes of parallel events shown side-by-side to compare and contrast how the rudimentary experiences common to all people are filtered into the different cultures and life styles, but not essentially different in the end. Learning to crawl, walk, how to interact with others, learning about self, etc. are all shown in the normal development chronology. The children hobble, falter, struggle, cry in anguish and frustration, make pratfalls, experiment, learn, and finally succeed. And then: move on to the next challenge in the crazy and wonderful journey of life.
It's difficult to watch the children when they fail or feel pain. It's also cute and funny as their unique personalities begin to emerge: the San Francisco baby has the most humorous moment with her logical and effective reaction to an irritating PC kiddy song. There's very little dialogue; only a few words by the adults is used, as necessary for a few key events. Usually there's cooing or crying by the little ones. The intent works: the kids are the stars.
A gentle documentary that intentionally paces slow and focuses on the babies and how they react. Sweet, joyous, and upbeat.
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