In 1964, a documentary film crew interviewed 14 representative British 7-year-olds.
Why do we bring these children together? Because we want to get a glimpse of England in the year 2000. The union leader and the business executive of the year 2000 are now 7 years old, was the opening line of 7 Up.
Every seven years since the original, the crew has filed a cinematic update to check in on how the subjects lives have progressed. Some of the original participants have long since dropped out, others took a hiatus. But most are still involved in the project, and the latest edition, 56 Up, will show tonight at the Wright Opera House in Ouray.
The children were selected to represent the range of socio-economic backgrounds in Britain in 1964, with the assumption that each childs social class predetermines his or her future. It wasnt far off. Two boys who said in 1964 that they would be lawyers are lawyers today. Lower-class kids work blue-collar jobs such as cab driver and forklift operator.
56 Up includes 13 of the original 14 subjects. Thats an improvement from 49 Up; Peter, who dropped out 21 years ago after making some anti-Margaret Thatcher comments, is back. The cynic would say hes returned to publicize his country-rock band.
In 2005, the BBC put the Up series at the top of its list of The 50 Greatest Documentaries.
56 Up will be shown at 7:30 p.m. today at the Wright Opera House in Ouray.