56 Up (2012)


Link: The Complete Up Series

Summary: This film catches up on the ordinary lives of some random British citizens.  Their lives have been chronicled every seven years since they were seven years old; they are now 56 years old.

Thoughts: I started watching this series with the last installment, 49 Up.  I love these films.  Even though we only see very brief glimpses into these people’s lives, as many of the subjects themselves are quick to remind us, it is fascinating to see both how they change every seven years, how they adapt to the changes that are forced upon them, and yet how they, in some ways, remain the same.  Though I’m sure different fans of these films find them fascinating for different reasons, with this latest installment I was mostly reminded that the important things in a person’s life are not his potential for fame and fortune, but his relationships both with other people and with himself, and that there is always hope; all struggles are temporary.  Yeah, that might sound like a cheesy theme to find, but that’s what I thought about as I watched how these various people progressed through their various stages of life in the span of minutes or seconds.  The worldly stuff gets left behind and forgotten; meanwhile, the self changes what it needs to, and perseveres.

I hope they will continue with another installment.  If something happens to director Michael Apted before then, I hope someone else will take it over.  It would also be fascinating to see something like this in the USA.  I know there have been attempts, but I’ve not come across them; I guess they are not nearly as popular.  In any case, this is perhaps the most fascinating documentary series of all time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *