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michael apted's 49 up

so i was at the library the other day and i took out a film i had been meaning to see for a long time: 49Up. first up some background.

49up is the seventh film in the up series that started with 7up in 1964. 7up was a documentary that examined the lives of 14 different children with the idea that you can see how a child will turn out based on their first 7 years based on the jesuit saying “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” the original looked especially at children from different social classes and backgrounds. subsequently follow-ups were released every 7 years, culminating up to this point, with 49up.

i cannot recommend a film more highly. i don’t believe that anyone could dislike watching this. the stories are not particularly gripping but there is something intensely fascinating about watching a life unfold in front of your eyes on film. it feels like something completely of our time, this strange ability to capture an entire life story. it’s a fascinating and intense experience.

there are people you like, and people you don’t, but what you’re really left with is a sense of both wonderment and self-reflection. these people are forced to examine their lives – both successes and failures – every 7 years which some see a blessing and some a curse. but in watching the film you are also pulled into that, forced to look at your own life, your goals, hopes and dreams – it is affecting in the best possible way. this is truly the zenith of documentary film-making. an amazing achievement of the past 50 years.

WATCH IT! you’ll not regret it.