Movie Critique: Babel

Babel is a drama that winds together a collage of several families seemingly far removed from each other but linked by one inevitably tragic incident. The main players are as far removed as Morocco, Tokyo and Mexico. Yet the communication difficulties explored under the direction of Alejandro González Iñárritu have less to do with language differences than with normal failings relating to such human adventures as sibling rivalry, prejudice, teenage sexuality, family conflict, parenting and grieving. I was left pondering whether this was not really the point of the original tale of Babel in Genesis 11. So much human potential is lost because of a failure to really sit and attend to the other, particularly when experiencing stress. There are times in the film when this kind of attention between some of the characters breaks through, suggesting hope and promise of stronger connectedness. The screenplay overall is a strident commentary on our times – globalisation is shrinking our human village – but there are rifts between those nearest and dearest to us that must be addressed if we are to see any sort of reversal of Babel on a larger scale. Maybe those of us who preach the good news of Christ can take note of Babel’s message and contemplate the context in which we both speak and listen.

Published by wonderingpilgrim

Not really retired but reshaped and reshaping. Now a pilgrim at large ready to engage with what each day brings.

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