In short, it follows the first year of life of four babies from different parts of the world (Namibia, Mongolia, Japan, USA) and shows their surroundings--but all in a very simple way. It is a bit reminiscent of Charlie Brown and the Muppet Babies in that it really does not focus on the parents, in fact, it barely shows the parents at all. Besides simple shots of household duties and nursing and the like the rest is just babies.
This really doesn't have much to do with what made me want to talk about this movie. I do not know if my bias has to do with my upbringing and that I take it for granted that I was raised in the West, or if there is something more mysterious about the non-Western, and non-first world in general (no offense, I didn't choose where I was born after all!).
Tokyo, obviously very advanced, didn't seem to interest me very much, which could be due to the fact that I lived in Seoul and it all seems very familiar to me. In terms of development they lack nothing. It's another big city to me. I don't really care for big cities either.
San Francisco is nothing new since it's America and I was born here. Next!
Namibia, to me, was really entertaining and I tried to soak up every little cultural detail I could about their lives. While they were living out in the open and it did seem a little primitive compared to many places I've been (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, for example), they really kept my attention. The babies seemed very adept with their hands and socially they were introduced to many siblings and neighbors at an early age. I like what I saw, other than the fact that there were no fathers present--where might they have been? Hunting or working? I'm not sure. If anyone knows I would appreciate a comment below.
Mongolia, what a fascinating country! Besides being deathly cold and brutally hot we can conclude that it wouldn't be a bad place to live--the skies are clear and they average 257 cloudless days a year. Not bad. They seem to have struck a nice balance between nomadic life and modernity. They live in yurts but yet they have cell phones and cars. They continue to raise animals and herd them around and overall it seems like a swell place to live. My friend Steve sure thinks so, and he's been a lot of places and is sure in the know. Ask him if you like.
If you don't mind not having dialogue and seeing lots of babies and feel the culture will be good for you I'd rent this documentary immediately. You heard me, rent the darn movie.
Thanks for reading.