Babies Documentary

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Babies Documentary

  • Filmmaker, Thomas Balmes offers a glimpse at the first phase of life in this film following four newborn babies through their first year of life. ~Jason Buchanan, Rovi
  • Dialogue-free documentary that follows the progress of four infants in Namibia, Mongolia, Japan and California .


  • View the documentary with an open mind, respect, and acknowledgment of how cultures vary around the globe.

Babies capture

  • the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all.
  • 82 minutes
  • Suggestion: Documentary can be shown by sections
  • You can work with a classmate
  • You will take notes during film
  • Compare w/ your partner (if applicable)
  • Then do the written reflection assignment
  • Prepare a 5 minute presentation (visual aid)
  • Papers & presentations due Wed. 4/22/15

Ponijao- Opuwo, Namibia

  • Ponijao, who lives with her family near Opuwo, Namibia; Ponijao’s family is part of the Himba tribe, including her parents & eight older brothers and sisters and lives in a small village with other families.
  • Scenario:
  • Two African children play with rocks inside a hut when the younger one decides to reach for a nearby plastic bottle — only to have the older toddler suddenly push her and grab it away. One bites, the other shrieks, tears are shed and the laughter of shared recognition fills the air.
  • This scenario can explored the topic of Understanding Children’s Behavior

Bayarjargal - Mongolia

  • Bayarjargal is the only baby boy in the film. He lives in Mongolia with his parents and a 2-year-old brother.

Mari- Japan

  • Mari lives with her mother and father in Shibuya, a busy metropolitan area within Tokyo, at the center of all of the city’s noise and excitement. Mari is an only child and lives a contemporary urban lifestyle.

Hattie- California

  • Both of Hattie’s parents are equally involved in her day-to-day life, fixing her meals, taking her to play groups, and spending time with her around the house.


  • Reflection
  • How much do Ponijao, Bayarjargal, Mari, and Hattie have in common, despite being born to different parents and raised in different cultures?
  • Provide a brief description of what babies in the documentary have in common.
  • Identify 3 child development theories in the documentary.
  • Essay- 1.5 pages / 10 pts

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