Babeling on

Well, of course, the movie is about communication but it takes what ‘communication’ means,

the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior,

twists it around and like a Mandelbrot set creates new ways of looking at communication. By zooming into the lives of several families that seem quite disassociated at the beginning and through different time sequences and switching back and forth eventually we pan out to see the fractal whole: the connections between all of these people. Perhaps it is distorted through communication. Perhaps it is made clearer by our experiencing the communicative whole of the movie itself. It is extremely interesting.
An example. Near the beginning of the movie a father in Morocco buys a gun to kill jackals with for his 2 goat herding sons. What does this communicate? Later on the boys are playing with the gun; the elder boy is not very good while the younger boy is deadly accurate. This translates into the shooting of an American woman by accident. This leads to a incredibly complex web of effects with ripples everywhere. Near the end of the movie the gun is hidden and then destroyed by the younger boy. The gun is a crucial signal unifying all the strands of people in this set of stories. And we see how our inability to communicate with each other as a theme causes such pain, anguish, misunderstandings and missed opportunities. And, in the end, just how fragile we all are in our own interstices of the web.


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