49: Forty Nine Up

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Released: 

2005

Runtime: 

3 hrs

Critics Score: 

97

Star Rating: 

No votes yet

Details

Inspired by the Jesuit saying, "Give me a child until he is 7 years old, and I will give you the man," in 1964 Granada Television commissioned a short documentary wherein producers profiled 14 7-year-old children, and loosely speculated on what sort of lives they might lead. It was meant and received as an indictment of the British class system, which seemed most inflexible in 1964. Almost as an afterthought, director Michael Apted--a researcher on the original documentary--returned to profile these same 14 subjects at seven-year intervals. Over the decades, Britain has changed unutterably, the class system has partly melted, and the films themselves have become something else entirely. The "7 up" series has been called the grandfather of reality television, and as a whole reminds viewers what we all know: that every so-called ordinary life is a zone of great drama and tremendous risk.

Critics Consensus: 

The latest installment in this remarkable series, 49 Up is a satisfying continuation of Michael Apted's singular sociological and cinematic experiment.
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