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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > British > Biography > Children > TV > 56 Up (2012/First Run Features DVD)

56 Up (2012/First Run Features DVD)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C-     Documentary: C+



In 1964, a group of seven year olds from all over England were interviewed and filmed every seven years to see how they progressed in life.  As they interview them they talk about their current situations, their thoughts, ideas and dreams of their future.  Now they are 56, almost half of a century later, did things go they way they planned?  They look back over the years and wonder about how they came where they are now in Michael Apted’s 56 Up (2012).


First Run Features has issued all the films to date, plus a spin-off, so if you are unfamiliar with the series, here are links to the original documentary films:


The Up Series (runs to 42 Up)



49 Up



21 Up South Africa – Mandela’s Children




In layman's terms was a long term social experiment, one to see human personality development.  What stays same over the years and what changes?  In general, either the people are changed by their surroundings or they change themselves.  For those who are generally more positive and social, end up with better relationships and jobs, for those more reclusive they end up less successful and have a more negative outlook on life.  While the film has little influence in their lives, this film give high validity to the behavior of nature vs. nurture of human personalities.  You could see how they change or didn't change, how reality tempered their lives, and how such traits were then passed on to the next generation.


This installment (not having seen all of them) I would recommend for those interested in psychological development or social growth.  It is a series of interviews of the growth of person's life, their spouse, their family, friends or lack there of, as were the previous installments.  In all, it only validates how childhood thoughts, personalities are important influences to the growth and maturity into adulthood.  It may not be great, but maybe one should see the earlier installments in order first.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is shot on video and can be soft, while the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is simple and has some location audio issues.  Extras include interviews, photo galleries, and filmmaker’s bio.



-   Ricky Chiang


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