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'Babel' Weaves a Story Out of Noise, Desperation

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'Babel' Weaves a Story Out of Noise, Desperation

Arts & Life

'Babel' Weaves a Story Out of Noise, Desperation

'Babel' Weaves a Story Out of Noise, Desperation

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In director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's new film, Babel, Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt portray American tourists in Morocco. Murray Close hide caption

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In director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's new film, Babel, Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt portray American tourists in Morocco.

Murray Close

The latest film from Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros and 21 Grams) follows multiple story lines that span three continents.

The threads include a young deaf Japanese girl struggling to recover from her mother's death; the shooting of an American tourist in Morocco; and the relationship between a Mexican woman and the two American children she cares for.

The film reveals the connections between its characters — and, as the title suggests, the difficulties they have in communicating.

Director Inarritu Spins a Global Tale in 'Babel'

Director Inarritu Spins a Global Tale in 'Babel'

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Babel, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's new, globe-trotting film, explores the limits of communication. hide caption

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See Clips from 'Babel'

At 43, Mexican-born director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has already made a name for himself in the United States, with films like Amores Perros (2000) and 21 Grams (2003). His new film, Babel, is already gathering Oscar buzz.

Babel stars Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal and several unknown actors. The movie interweaves stories unfolding in Morocco, Japan and on the U.S.-Mexico border. The film's ambitious scope includes four countries, three continents and five languages.

The filming, which lasted nearly a year, proved to be challenging.

Nearly his entire cast in Morocco consisted of nonactors, and Inarritu had to work through two translators in Japan: one to translate from English to Japanese, another to translate from Japanese into sign language (one of the characters is a deaf Japanese teenager).

"As a production, we were running very close circumstances to what the film was about, the lack of communication, the impossibilities of dialogue," Inarritu says.

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