Michael Apted was a youthful writer-researcher in 1962 when British television brought together a dozen 7-year-olds from disparate backgrounds, to interview them separately and take them on outings. The idea was to follow them through life, to film them every seven years to see where their lives would lead. The first show -- shot in 1962 and released a year or two later -- was called "7 Up." Apted befriended the kids and became the director of every subsequent segment: "7 Plus 7" and "21 Up" followed in their time. "28 Up" was the first segment to be placed on video and made available overseas. There's Symon, a black lad from a single-parent household who by 28 has five children and seems wonderfully unscarred by racism; Jackie, Lynn, and Susan, working class friends; Nick, a farm boy who goes into nuclear engineering and is teaching at the University of Wisconsin; the working class boy who lived part of his childhood in Australia and continues to live there, and another who tried to be a jockey and ended up driving a cab; Susy, from a much higher class background, who went a bit off the tracks for a time; Paul, a 7-year-old aspiring missionary who ends up being something of the sort teaching "maths" to underprivileged immigrant children; and a trio of upper-class boys who go into law and TV production. Perhaps most fascinating of all is Neil, an absolutely beguiling child from Liverpool (you can hear a bit of the Beatles in his voice), obviously sensitive and intelligent, who by "28 Up" is all but homeless, living on the road, in a trailer, and looking more like a pock-faced Bruce Dern. Watching these lives unfold, you can't help thinking about the vagaries of time, and how your life might have looked if someone filmed it at seven-year intervals. "35 Up" and "42 Up" have since been filmed and released on video.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus