The biblical story of Babel takes up a handful of verses in the 11th chapter of Genesis, and it illustrates, among other things, the terrible consequences of unchecked ambition. As punishment for trying to build a tower that would reach the heavens, the human race was scattered over the face of the earth in a state of confusion — divided, dislocated and unable to communicate. More or less as we find ourselves today.
To make sense of this condition requires an ambition nearly as great as the one that got those ancient architects into trouble in the first place. Any discussion of "Babel," therefore — whether grounded in skepticism or lost in admiration — has to begin by acknowledging just how much the film, the third collaboration between the director Alejandro González Iñárritu and the screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, sets out to do.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment