Thursday, November 16, 2006

Babel ... thought provoking.

One shot fired and international controversy is sparked while the domino effect entangles the lives of fours sets of people - Moroccan goat herders, wealthy American couple, illegal immigrant maid and nanny to the couple’s children and hearing impaired Japanese teenager and her father.

For those of you who are not aware – the story of the Tower of Babel is the story of the creation of races and the various languages of the world. It is a biblically perspective on the division of the races and our various languages and how because we separated as a people we could not work together or communicate on any level.

Likewise, Babel (the movie) deals with political, physical and racial barriers to communication. This story is loosely based on the Biblical tale but in this modern day error of mistrust, terrorism border patrols and rules of trade. You are captivated from the start and emotional exhausted in the end.

Because I am drawn to the unique perspectives I found the side stories more captivating than the Brad Pitt/Kate Blanchett depiction of the American husband seeking help in rural Morocco for his injured wife. Nothing new here - the Americans focus on terrorism - not a surprise; diplomatic barriers to getting her help - expected; his arrogance and immediate anger at the locals - American stereotype. However, Brad Pitt's acting skills were amazing with his effective use of his emotions.

More intriguing is what happened to the Mexican maid and the Japanese girl. Their pain is from within and they are victims of society and that which they cannot change. The maid has to go back to Mexico for a wedding. Because she can’t find a babysitter for the children whose parents are in Morocco she has to take the blond hair, blue-eyed duo with her. On the way back border patrol holds her and her nephew under immediate suspicion of kidnapping without question. The rash decisions that ensued led to her deportation. All because she was trying to do the right thing. No one spoke on her behalf even after 16 years of living in the US. No one wanted to listen to her.

On the other side of the world we have a deaf girl tormented by not being able to communicate, her mother's suicide and keeping the police away from her father - who coincidental owns the gun involved in the shooting. Imagine going to a club, watching everyone dancing and having fun but not being able to hear the music. Imagine finding a guy cute but being rejected because you can’t talk and he can’t sign. It was fascinating seeing the world of the deaf through their ears. Seeing about a week of her life was eye opening.

A must see…go with an open mind.

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