Babel

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Babel ★★★½ 2006 (R)

A father in a Moroccan village allows his two young sons to shoot his hunting rifle and an international incident is sparked. The boys innocently aim at a tourist bus, never believing the bullets could actually hit someone. They do, of course, and this one foolish act leads to complications that will encompass a Mexican nanny and her Anglo charges back in California and an angry deaf-mute teenaged girl in Tokyo. Somehow director Gonzalez Inarritu manages to tie the stories together (with a certain amount of unbelievability). Pitt and Blanchett join an impressive international cast who live up to this gritty, realistic dramatic puzzle. 142m/C DVD, Blu-ray Disc, HD DVD . US Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal, Adriana Barraza, Elle Fanning, Koji Yakusho, Nathan Gamble, Rinko Kikuchi, Said Tarchani, Boubker Ait El Caid, Mustapha Rachidi, Abdelkader Bara; D: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu; W: Guillermo Arriaga; C: Rodrigo Prieto; M: Gustavo Santaolalla. Oscars '06: Orig. Score; British Acad. '06: Orig. Score; Golden Globes '07: Film—Drama.

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Babel, Tower of in the Bible, a tower built in an attempt to reach heaven, which God frustrated by confusing the languages of its builders so that they could not understand one another (Genesis 11:1–9). The story was probably inspired by the Babylonian ziggurat, and may be an attempt to explain the existence of different languages.

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Babel (bā´bəl) [Heb.,=confused], in the Bible, place where Noah's descendants (who spoke one language) tried to build a tower reaching up to heaven to make a name for themselves. For this presumption the speech of the builders was confused, thus ending the project. The story was perhaps originally an etiological tale explaining the diversity of languages and cultures, but, due to Israel's experience of the exile, now contains significant polemic against the presumption of Babylon, which is Babel in Hebrew.

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Babel

a confused mixture of sounds, voices, or languages; a confused assembly. See also charivari, hubbub, pandemonium.

Examples: babel of follies, 1529; of past idle objurgations, 1884; of sectaries, 1731; babel towers of chimney, 1848.

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ba·bel / ˈbabəl; ˈbā-/ • n. [in sing.] a confused noise, typically that made by a number of voices: the babel of voices on the road.

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babel XIV (see Gen. 11:9). — Heb. bābhel Babylon.