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56 Up

Initially pitched as a documentary delving into the British class system, 56 UP revisits the same group of people every 7 years, from age 7 to 56, interviewing each and discovering just what the passing of time reveals and exposing their hopes and disappointments to a vast public.

Director: Michael Apted, Paul Almond
Year: 2012
Time: 144 min

 56 Up
(2012) on IMDb

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Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give others the chance to dive into the Up-series.

Take control of your life by fulfilling your dreams now, not at some future point. One’s life perspective and attitude has a lot more influence on the shape of quality of life lived than most other things. 

Do what you can for those who are not fortunate enough to have a family. The International Foster Care Organisation – a global, not-for-profit – supports and promotes family-based foster care. Find out more to support their mission.

Connect with The Open Society Foundation’s Education Support Program on Facebook or Twitter, the organization works to promote equal education on an international scale. Equal education is key to an open society.

Focus on the personal relationships in your life, nurturing them and allocating them time and respect. Money matters, but relationships are even more fundamental to a happy life.

Related Articles and Resources

What 56 UP Reveals

“I’ve forgotten when I first encountered the series, though it was probably the broadcast of 21 Up, which aired on British television in 1977, when I was ten. I haven’t missed an episode since, and I’ve watched most of them – including the earlier ones – two or three times – often enough so that certain phrases and scenes stay with me, like familiar lines of poetry or passages from a favorite novel.”

Read The New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead’s analysis of 56 UP and the Up Series.

POV Interview With Michael Apted

“From then on, we thought we were really onto something, so let’s keep going.”

Filmmaker Michael Apted discusses the genesis of the Up series.

Great British Class Survey Finds Seven Social Classes in UK

“The traditional three classes – working, middle and upper – are no longer sufficient to contain and explain Britain’s enduring obsession, according to a new survey that offers no fewer than seven categories.”

Read the full article on the Guardian. 

9 Reasons Why You Should View The World Through A Child’s Eyes

“Can you remember what it’s like to be a child? When you look back, you see those years through rose-colored glasses and it’s all happy memories. Do you watch how your children, nieces and nephews, or friends’ children interact with the world around them? ”

Check out the list on Wall Street Insanity.

Social Class Matters

“[…] psychology as a field has improved itself greatly by diversifying its data base and offering more nuanced conclusions from given research studies.”

Read the full article on Psychology Today. 

Ageing Without Children

Without family carers, the health and social care system would collapse yet no one is addressing the growing number of older people without family to care for them.

Read the article on the Guardian.

You Can’t See It, But You’ll Be A Different Person In 10 Years

“I have this deep sense that although I will physically age — I’ll have even less hair than I do and probably a few more pounds — that by and large the core of me, my identity, my values, my personality, my deepest preferences, are not going to change from here on out”

Listen to the full report on NPR.

Five Life Lessons from 56 UP

In re-watching the series and seeing 56 Up in the theater, I was struck by the fact that the series brings to life insights that we might dismiss as clichés—if they weren’t so bloody hard to live by.

Explore the full list on The Greater Good


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