Up Series (BBC Documentary)

Jul 8, 2010

The narrative follows the lives of fourteen British children of various economic backgrounds from the 1960s to the present, posing the question of whether socioeconomic background predetermines our future. The children are questioned on their present beliefs, past accomplishments and future plans, with each child revisited every seven years. It is interesting to listen to the opinions of small children, who more or less repeat what they hear from their parents, versus opinions shaped by rebellious teenage years and later real life experiences. We see their views change over time from when they believe that they can “be everything you can be,” and easily overcome the obstacles of their backgrounds, followed by disappointments and the realities yielded by later life. The premise of the film was taken from the Jesuits and a quote of Francis Xavier: "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." However, not every life could be stereotyped and several characters have unpredictable life journeys. A very thought provoking documentary, with some parts suitable for classroom viewing and educational purposes. I found this fascinating BBC documentary by chance and can’t wait for the next episode in 2012. It used to be available only via interlibrary loan, but due to its popularity and patrons' interest, it was recently purchased for our library system.

Reviewed by Library Staff