Michael Apted’s ambitious Up project got its start in 1964 showcasing the lives of 14 British schoolchildren, with each subsequent release catching up with them every seven years. The participants, now in their mid-50s, look back at their past and discuss how their various socio-economic backgrounds, scholastic endeavors, jobs, relationships, and the documentaries themselves have shaped their current lives. Neil, homeless and wandering throughout his 20s, has found his calling in council politics in Cumbria. Peter, who dropped out after 28 Up due to the tabloid press taking him to task for his anti-Thatcher remarks, is back and happily playing in an award-winning country band. The recent global recession is a recurring thread; many of the participants are coping with lost jobs or financial insecurity. This fascinating look at life’s many surprises ends on a gratifying note, and it’s a stellar entry in an always compelling series.
Director: Michael Apted and Paul Almond
Producer: Michael Apted, Claire Lewis and Alexander Gardiner