(UK/2018—directed by Michael Apted)
Michael Apted’s landmark documentary series, beginning in 1963, followed the lives of a dozen or so British 7-year-olds, checking in with them every seven years. There’s scrappy Tony, a jockey-turned-cabbie; the posh public schoolboys who become aristocratic barristers; three working-class women whose views of marriage, divorce, and children defined much of their lives (and one of whom calls out Apted on his sexism).
The British class system plays a major role, but so also do luck, temperament, romance, mental illness, religion, and race. Deftly interspersing key moments from the previous films, Apted allows his subjects to fast-forward into the persons they’ve become, much as flowers bud and bloom — allowing us to consider our own journeys while bonding with Apted’s subjects in waves of startling and poignant clarity. (144 min.)
“Extraordinary! It’s a wonderful thing, this episodic reality, and it gets richer with time.” -Alastair McKay, London Evening Standard
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