42 Up

Back in 1964, director Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter) had a unique idea. He interviewed more than a dozen 7-year-old British kids from various ethnic and social backgrounds and then broadcast their thoughts as a BBC special. He invited them to share their dreams, ambitions, and fears and managed to elicit a wide range of observations about life and, most especially, the British class system. Every seven years thereafter, he caught up with them to see how their lives and their perspectives had changed. The resulting footage was seen stateside in 28 Up, 35 Up, and now 42 Up. Although Apted’s interviewing style is fairly straightforward and unremarkable, the resulting films are anything but. What we see unfolding is nothing less than life itself. Apted skillfully intercuts the earlier footage with new interviews, so we witness the participants age before our very eyes while life rewards them, beats them about, and transforms them. Apted lets his film go on a little longer than he needs to, but, in the end, 42 Up is an absorbing and moving document of humanity. (N/R) Rating: 7

Categories: Movies