56 Up (2012)
|Film and Movie Guides for Teachers and Parents > Documentary Films|
Release date: 2012
Reviewer: Ms. Fox
Length: 144 minutes (2 hours, 24 minutes)
Review: The Up! series began as a project designed to examine and document the differences in socio-economic class among the children of Great Britain, looking to see how much this background played a role in shaping the children's dreams, plans, and futures. Amazingly, the series has continued for nearly 50 years. Every seven years, acclaimed director Michael Apted revisits the subjects to find out where their lives are at currently.
The Up! series is considered one of the greatest documentaries of all time, for good reason. Although reality television did not exist when this program was conceived in 1964, viewers today have been subjected to an onslaught of pseudo-reality, in everything from "The Jersey Shore" to "The Real Housewives." The Up! series serves as an antidote to modern faux reality, offering actual people sharing the trials and tribulations of their lives.
Does socio-economic class play a role in determining the course of people's lives? Based on the lives lived by the film's subjects, it certainly does. Yet there is so much more to these people than the classes into which they were born. One subject, despite his middle-class background, becomes destitute. Another, seemingly destined for poverty and an unhappy home life, ends up happily married and comfortable.
Despite their length, these films are ideal viewing for any student of psychology. Possible discussion topics might include: "What were the goals and dreams of each subject at each age?" "How did outside factors influence the subjects' lives?" "How did internal (mental and emotional) factors influence the subjects' lives?" "Did any of the subjects leave their original socio-economic class (rising up or falling down)?"
Click here for a free printable note-taking worksheet on this documentary film series. Click here to enlarge the official film poster.
|Bruce at age seven.||Peter at age 56.||Nick in 56 Up.||Filmmaker Michael Apted||Peter and Neil at age fourteen.|
56 Up Movie Review Publication Date for Citation Purposes: December 22, 2012