Offering an extraordinary look at the unfolding of lives, The Up Series has been called “an inspired, almost noble use of the film medium” by renowned film critic Roger Ebert.
In 1964, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Apted began his career as a researcher on a new experimental series for Granada TV called Seven Up, which explored the Jesuit maxim, “Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” The original concept was to interview 14 children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds from all over England, to see whether a class system was in place. By asking the children about their lives and their dreams for the future, difference in attitudes and opportunity were witnessed.
For almost half a century, Apted has interviewed the original group every seven years, examining the progression of their lives. Now they are 56. From cab driver Tony to schoolmates Jackie, Lynn, and Susan, and the iconoclast Neil, the present age brings more life-changing decisions and surprising developments. From success and disappointment, marriage and childbirth, to poverty and illness, nearly every facet of life is discussed with the group, as they assess whether their lives have ultimately been ruled by circumstance or self-determination.