I’m visiting my mom for a few weeks. In the evenings I sometimes look for a film that we both might enjoy. She has dementia so it’s sometimes a challenge to engage both of us. The other night I chose Babies, a documentary film by Thomas Balmès. It is a fascinating look at four babies from diverse locations: Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco and Tokyo, and covers their development from birth to their first steps.
I was particularly captivated by Ponijao, the baby girl from Namibia who was an absolute delight: perfectly chubby, with a glorious smile. Ponijao spent much of her first year rolling around in the dirt, while her mom sat nearby — on the earth. Ponijao was always picking up sticks and stones from the ground and putting them in her mouth. While I was thinking this might not be a great idea, Ponijao’s mom was incredibly relaxed; nothing seemed to faze her. One shot was really lovely, with Ponijao lolling about in a rivulet of fresh clean water.
A news release entitled, Better Hygiene in Wealthy Nations May Increase Alzheimer’s Risk, states: “This latest study adds further weight to the “hygiene hypothesis” in relation to Alzheimer’s: that sanitized environments in developed nations result in far less exposure to a diverse range of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms — which might actually cause the immune system to develop poorly, exposing the brain to the inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease….”
I highly recommend Babies. The cinematography from Mongolia and Namibia is gorgeous. I’d also recommend eating more dirt but I don’t have any good recipes for it — yet.
Read more at: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/uoc-bhi090413.php.