Drama |English, Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese with English subtitles| 143 minutes
The film Babel weaves four separate stories that are based in four different locations, with different languages, and different cultures. Connecting these four separate separate stories is a gun. At the conclusion of a hunting trip in Morocco, Japanese tourist, Yasujiro Wataya, gifts his rifle to his guide, Hassan Ibrahim. Hassan sells the rifle to Abdullah a goat herder, who in turn gives it to his sons to drive away the jackals. One son decides to see how accurately the rifle will hit a passing tourist bus miles away.The bullet does connect and hits Susan Jones in the neck. She is seriously injured and her husband Brad manages to get her to a hospital in Casablanca. Back home in San Diego, Susan’s Mexican nanny, Amelia, is planning to attend her sister’s wedding in Tijuana. Because Susan is delayed coming home, Amelia decides to take Susan’s two children with her to Mexico. After the wedding, Amelia’s cousin, Santiago, offers to drive them back to the U.S. He gets drunk and abandons them. Amelia and the two children face a confrontation with Immigration officers. Meanwhile, Yasujiro, the Japanese hunter, is back in Japan and must deal with his rebellious daughter Chieko, who is clinically deaf and a handful. Babel reinforces the concept of globalization. Even though the characters are in different locations, speaking different languages, they all seem to interconnect, for good and for bad.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 69%
- Metacritic Score: 69
- Academy Award: Nominated: Best Picture; Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu); Best Original Screenplay (Guillermo Arriaga)
- Cannes Film Festival: Nominated, Palm d’Or (Best Film)
- Golden Globe Awards: Winner, Best Motion Picture, Drama
- National Board of Review: Winner, Best Breakthrough Actress (Rinko Kikuchi)
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BABEL is the most powerful of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s trilogy of films. It shows his mastery of the form, and it surprises us by offering human insight rather than obligatory tragedy. Inarritu films more in sorrow than anger and spares most of his characters with magic retribution because he loves and understands them too much to simply grind them in a plot. This is a film about people who do what we might do–if we were them.
BABEL will surely provoke. The individual scenes are sometimes so powerful and put together with such care and conviction, that you might leave the theater feeling dazed, even traumatized.
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