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35 Up Review


OK
If there's ever been a more telling indictment that, indeed, the poor stay poor and the rich get rich, I haven't found it. 35 Up is nothing less than a bleak yet scathing documentary skewering the class structure of Britain. Michael Apted began this series in the 1960s with Seven Up!, profiling a couple dozen 7-year-olds. He's come back every 7 years since, and 35 Up is the fifth installment in the series. It's remarkable how correct those kids were about where they'd end up in life, though the few exceptions are noteworthy, showing that yes indeed, a farmer's son can make it off the farm once in awhile.

Unfortunately, 35 Up is exceedingly long and repetitive. Apted repeatedly asks if the lower-class folks are upset they didn't have enough opportunity, and he asks the upper-class people if they feel guilty about it. Remarkably, everyone answers no on all counts. The controversy will have to wait. And so with the intrigue that goes along with it. C'est la vie. Literally.

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