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56 Up

Take Action

Take Action Around '56 Up'

  • Screen 56 Up with similar documentaries from other countries that were inspired by the Up series. Films have been made featuring children from the former Soviet Union, South Africa, Australia and the United States. Encourage people to identify events and issues that are universal and those that are specific to particular cultures, classes or locations.

  • Document yourself and/or your family. Take (or review) your own home movies and compare across time. Consider sharing your records with others, perhaps via a social media site.

  • Host a block party so people in your neighborhood can learn more about each other and to celebrate the diversity in your own community. Decorate with displays of photos that record the span of years that each person has lived in the neighborhood. Invite the people in the photos to share stories about what neighborhood life was like in the year that each photo was taken.

  • Research sociological patterns of marriage, divorce and childbirth for the years covered in 56 Up (1964, 1970, 1977, 1984, 1991, 1998, 2005 and 2012). Investigate the historical context that might have influenced people's lives in each of these years and assess how typical or representative the film's subjects were.

Get informed about the issues in the film and lead a discussion in your community.

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide

This guide is an invitation to dialogue. It is based on a belief in the power of human connection, designed for people who want to use 56 Up to engage family, friends, classmates, colleagues and communities. In contrast to initiatives that foster debates in which participants try to convince others that they are right, this document envisions conversations undertaken in a spirit of openness in which people try to understand one another and expand their thinking by sharing viewpoints and listening actively. The discussion prompts are intentionally crafted to help a wide range of audiences think more deeply about the issues in the film. Rather than attempting to address them all, choose one or two that best meet your needs and interests. And be sure to leave time to consider taking action. Planning next steps can help people leave the room feeling energized and optimistic, even in instances when conversations have been difficult.

Reading List

Delve Deeper

This multi-media resource list, compiled by Linda Brawley of San Diego Public Library, provides a range of perspectives on the issues raised by the POV documentary 56 Up.

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