Skip to main content

Babies Movie May Violate Child Labor Laws, Critics Say

After a good, long run, we have decided to close our forums in an effort to refocus attention to other sections of the site. Fortunately for you all, we're living in a time where discussion of a favorite topic now has a lot of homes. So we encourage you all to bring your ravenous love for discussion to Chuck's official Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. And, as always, you can still post comments on all News updates. Thank you for your loyalty and passion over the years. These changes will happen June 1.

"Babies," the documentary movie by Thomas Balmes, is a chronicle of the lives of four infants from different backgrounds. There is no dialogue but music accompanying scenes of the children in their natural environments. "Babies" reviews have usually admitted that while the 80-minute Focus Features film is cute, it may be too simplistic. Cute little babies moving in time to music is the domain of 30-second commercials, not severe films. This lack of depth in the "Babies" movie has caused some minds to stray to the possibility of whether the production really violated child labor laws and will need payday lending to bail the production company out of potential fines.

Were the 'Babies' within the movie exploited?

USA Today reports that various sources are concerned over whether "Babies" subject Hattie (who lives in San Francisco) was dealt with in a way consistent with California law. California infants that are to appear in commercial films like "Babies" must have doctor and legal permission, plus they must be at least 15 days old. Said "Babies" within the movie are only allowed on film a maximum of 20 minutes per day, and during that time the studio must provide a nurse and teacher which the studio finances completely. These guidelines were not followed to the letter for Hattie within the "Babies" movie, claim some.

Film's producer said those rules did not apply

The producer's actual reason was much less standoffish. In actuality, "Babies" producer Amandine Billot informed the Associated Press that the kids were cast while nevertheless unborn. The children were then filmed "in their natural environments, like a wildlife film of human babies," as outlined by Billot. If the California Labor Board were to open an investigation, it could cost "Babies" anywhere from $ 50 to $ 5,000 per individual instance of child labor law violation.

California, the anti-'Babies' state

With all of the red tape and debt in California government, this could turn out to be quite a bad thing for Focus Features. This is why Focus Features' CEO James Schamus is ready to rumble. He told the AP that no child labor laws were violated and vehemently stated that "irresponsible conjectures" against the "Babies" movie are just that – mere speculation. "The filmmakers a lot more than adhered to both the letter and spirit of the law," exclaimed Schamus.

Ready to go see what the 'Babies' fuss is about?

As you'll recall, "Babies" isn't all bad. You'll want to "revel within the miracles, the radiant innocence and fun nature of babies. You won't be able to leave the theater without feelings of warmth, happiness and delight," writes So embrace your inner Sandra Bullock and go embrace "Babies" today.

Sources for the article

USA Today