Clive Davis celebrates the astonishing Michael Apted documentary, which, in its most recent form, is called "49 Up." A group of seven-year-old children were filmed in 1963 as a case-study in British social class. They have been re-interviewed every seven years since. Their stories - at once banal and riveting - are all of our stories. Aaron and I watched "49 Up" a couple of weeks ago, and it was as good as any of the others. There are now seven re-edited versions of the documentary. They repeat sequences, of course. According to Apted on the DVD featurette, one person actually sat and watched all seven in sequence over a long weekend. He described it as an almost mystical experience into the meaning of life. I don't recommend a marathon like that; but if you've ever seen the films, they are unforgettable. And profound - in a way that's difficult to articulate.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.