Babel is the name used in the Tanakh (Genesis chapter 11) to describe the historical city of Babylon, commonly thought to be the location of the Tower of Babel. The word "babel" is thought to come from the Hebrew verb "balal," which means to confuse or confound.

The film Babel, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, does just that. Unfortunately, I saw it in the Netherlands on vacation this past December; unfortunately because it was subtitled in Dutch and therefore the portions in Japanese went directly over my head (my mediocre Spanish got me through the Mexican segments, and having lived in Morocco for the past two years, I was able to understand the majority of the Darija, or Moroccan Arabic, and what I didn't get, my husband, who was sitting next to me, explained).

But despite the fact that a language barrier kept me from fully comprehending the film, the film itself seems to confuse. One particular aspect of it, that which took place in Morocco, confounded me.

First of all, and I don't mean to pick, but as a friend who has lived in the region informed me, the village in which the Moroccan scenes took place Tazarine was not actually the village used for filming instead, a village called Taguenzalt was used. Director Iñárritu said of the village:

"I liked that this village was very humble and very real. The people in Taguenzalt were extremely nice and spiritual…I felt very safe there."

In the film's production information, it was also noted that the villagers can trace their Berber ancestry back 3,000 years. Interesting! Why then, were they speaking Darija, the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, and not Tamazight, the local Berber dialect?

Other friends have also noted the fact that much of the dialogue sounds like English (or Spanish) translated directly into Darija meaning, of course, that much of the Moroccan characters' speech is inauthentic.

I was pleased to see that the shooting in the film was an accident prior to seeing it, I had assumed, knowing that Cate Blanchett's character gets shot, that the portion in Morocco would deal with terrorism but aside from that, found myself disappointed.

And so I am pleased, of course, that The Departed was this year's Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards…despite the fact that I haven't seen it.

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