Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.
1.85 : 1
Rated R for violence, some graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use.
English, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Japanese Sign Language, Berber, French
Rifle, Morocco, Mexico, Wedding, American
Dolby Digital, DTS
Ensemble Film, Psychological Drama
Intersecting Lives, Nightmare Vacations, Servants and Employers, Class Differences, Teen Angst, Fathers and Daughters
Somber, Atmospheric, Intimate, Visceral, Gritty
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3, 7, 8
Count - Awards
US Box Office
France, USA, Mexico
Country Of Origin
France, USA, Mexico
Babel is a 2006 international drama film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga, starring an ensemble cast. The multi-narrative drama completes Iñárritu's Death Trilogy, following Amores perros and 21 Grams.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Youtube Video Code
Babel focuses on four interrelated sets of situations and characters, and many events are revealed out of sequence. The following plot summary has been simplified, and thus does not reflect the exact sequence of the events on screen.
In a remote desert location in southern Morocco, Abdullah, a goatherder, buys a high-powered .270 Winchester M70 rifle and a box of ammunition from his neighbor Hassan Ibrahim to shoot the jackals that have been preying on his goats. Abdullah gives the rifle to his two young sons, Yussef and Ahmed (played by local non-professional actors Boubker Ait El Caid and Said Tarchini), and sends them out to tend the herd. Competing between themselves and doubtful of the rifle's purported three-kilometer range, they decide to test it out, aiming first at rocks, a moving car on a highway below, and then at a bus carrying Western tourists on the same highway traveling in the opposite direction to the car. Yussef's bullet hits the bus, critically wounding Susan Jones (Cate Blanchett), an American woman from San Diego  who is traveling with her husband Richard Jones (Brad Pitt) on vacation. The two boys realize what has happened and flee the scene, hiding the rifle in the hills that night.
Glimpses of television news programs reveal that the US government holds the shooting to be a terrorist act and is pressuring the Moroccan government to apprehend the culprits. Having traced the rifle back to Hassan, the Moroccan police descend quickly on his house and roughly question him and his wife until they reveal that the rifle was given to him by a Japanese man, and then sold to Abdullah. The two boys see the police on the road and confess to their father what they have done. (They believe at the time that the American woman has died of her wounds.) The three flee from their house, retrieving the rifle as they go. The police corner them on the rocky slope of a hill and open fire. After his brother is hit in the leg, Yussef returns fire, striking one police officer in the shoulder. The police continue shooting, eventually hitting Ahmed in the back, possibly fatally injuring him. As his father rages with grief, Yussef eventually surrenders and confesses to all the crimes, begging clemency for his family and medical assistance for his brother. The police take him into custody. The family's fate is unresolved.
The movie's first plot is interspersed with scenes of Richard and Susan. They came on vacation in Morocco to get away from things and mend their own marital woes. The death of their infant third child to SIDS has strained their marriage significantly as they struggle to communicate their frustration, guilt, and blame. When Susan is shot on the tour bus, Richard orders the bus driver to the nearest village with a doctor (the village is named Tazarine in the film). There a local veterinarian sews up the wound to stem the loss of blood. The other tourists wait for some time, but they eventually demand to leave, fearing the heat and worried that they may be the target of further attacks. Since Susan cannot travel by bus in her condition, Richard threatens the tour group to wait for the ambulance, which never arrives, and eventually the bus leaves without them while Richard is on the phone. The couple remains behind with the bus's tour guide, Anwar, still waiting for transport to a hospital (having contacted the US embassy using the village's only phone). Political issues between the US and Morocco prevent quick help, but a helicopter comes at last. After five days in the hospital, Susan recovers and is sent home.
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