The byline for the Up Series of documentaries is:
Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man
which is based on a quotation by the Jesuit Francis Xavier. The original idea was to bring together 14 kids born in 1956 of various class and economic backgrounds and interview them. It was meant to be a one-time socio-political expose for Granada’s “World in Action” program but it gained life when a Granada research assistant, Michael Apted, decided to keep the concept alive seven years later. He has done it every seven years since. The latest is 49 up (all the participants are 49 years of age) and nearly all are still involved. No other documentary could claim to be as complete a picture of real people. This is truly Reality television. And simply brilliant.
What began as a left-wing political study of contrasts in class, race, location and the education system has became a time capsule of life: a study in the incredible capability and resiliency of human beings.
I can’t recommend this highly enough. If you belong to the genus Homo sapiens then you should see this movie. It’s as simple as that. With the 6 DVD set that is now available, you can take a weekend to see the whole set of 7 documentaries. It will take you through an amazing journey that you will never forget.