Paige Dowling

Written by Paige Dowling

Modified & Updated: 25 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Released in 1991, “35 Up” is a groundbreaking documentary film that continues the journey started in the critically acclaimed series “Up.” Directed by renowned filmmaker Michael Apted, the film follows the lives of a group of British individuals, starting from when they were just seven years old. With each installment released every seven years, “35 Up” takes a unique approach to storytelling, offering viewers an unprecedented glimpse into the lives of its subjects as they grow and evolve over time.In this article, we will delve into 32 fascinating facts about the movie “35 Up.” From the production process to the impact it has had on popular culture, we will explore the various aspects that make this film a true testament to the power of documentary storytelling. So sit back, grab some popcorn, and let’s dive into the compelling world of “35 Up.”

Key Takeaways:

  • The movie “35 Up” is a captivating documentary that follows the lives of diverse individuals, sparking deep reflection and emotional connections with viewers, while showcasing the power of long-term storytelling.
  • Through its thought-provoking storytelling and relatable characters, “35 Up” prompts critical reflection on societal issues and personal growth, leaving audiences eagerly anticipating the next installment in the series.
Table of Contents

The Origin of 35 Up

35 Up is a documentary film that is part of the Up Series, a groundbreaking series of films directed by Michael Apted. The series follows the lives of 14 British individuals from diverse backgrounds, and 35 Up is the fourth installment.

Continuity in the Up Series

The Up Series began in 1964 with Seven Up!, where the participants were just seven years old. It has since continued every seven years, with each film showcasing the participants as they age, providing a unique insight into the human experience.

The Participants

The participants in 35 Up are a diverse group of individuals from different social and economic backgrounds. They include lawyers, teachers, laborers, and artists, among others. This mix of characters adds depth and variety to the film.

Personal Life Updates

35 Up delves deep into the personal lives of the participants, offering fascinating updates on their careers, relationships, and aspirations. It provides a unique and intimate look into their joys, struggles, and accomplishments.

Astronaut Dreams

One of the participants, Tony, had aspirations of becoming an astronaut in the previous films. In 35 Up, he discusses his dream in detail and reflects on how his life has unfolded differently from what he had hoped.

A Journey of Self-Reflection

35 Up serves as a powerful tool for self-reflection not only for the participants but also for the audience. It prompts viewers to ponder their own lives and choices, making it a thought-provoking and engaging film experience.

Challenges and Triumphs

Through the ups and downs of their lives, the participants in 35 Up face various challenges and experience moments of triumph. The film captures these pivotal moments, showcasing the resilience and growth of each individual.

The Power of Documentary Filmmaking

35 Up exemplifies the power of documentary filmmaking to tell captivating human stories and explore profound themes. It highlights the importance of giving individuals a voice and documenting their lives over an extended period of time.

Critical Acclaim

35 Up, along with the other films in the Up Series, has received widespread critical acclaim. Its innovative concept and compelling storytelling have made it a landmark in the realm of documentary filmmaking.

Examination of Societal Constructs

The Up Series, including 35 Up, provides a unique lens through which to view societal constructs and their impact on individuals’ lives. It raises thought-provoking questions about class, gender, and social mobility.

Opening Doors to Dialogue

35 Up sparks conversations and discussions on various topics, including personal growth, social issues, and the challenges of adulthood. It encourages viewers to reflect on their own lives and engage in meaningful dialogue.

Emotional Connection with the Participants

Throughout the Up Series, including 35 Up, audiences develop a strong emotional connection with the participants. The familiarity and attachment built over the years make their stories all the more impactful and relatable.

Cultural Time Capsule

35 Up, like the other films in the series, serves as a cultural time capsule, providing a unique snapshot of British society at different points in history. It chronicles the changing landscapes of Britain over several decades.

Life’s Uncertainties

35 Up reinforces the notion that life is filled with uncertainties. The participants’ journeys and experiences highlight the unpredictability and randomness of life, emphasizing the importance of embracing change and resilience.

Critique on Social Inequality

The Up Series, including 35 Up, indirectly critiques social inequality by showcasing the stark differences in each participant’s socioeconomic background and opportunities. It prompts reflection on the structural issues that shape individual lives.

Thoughtful Storytelling

35 Up, like the rest of the Up Series, is a masterclass in storytelling. The thoughtful narration and editing capture the essence of each participant’s life, evoking empathy and understanding from the audience.

Raw and Authentic

The authenticity of the participants’ stories shines through in 35 Up. The film presents them in their raw and unfiltered form, allowing viewers to witness their joys, pains, hopes, and fears without any pretenses.

Capturing Moments of Vulnerability

35 Up captures moments of vulnerability in the participants’ lives, shedding light on their inner struggles and insecurities. It humanizes them and allows viewers to empathize and connect on a deeply emotional level.

Charting Personal and Social Change

The Up Series, including 35 Up, offers a unique opportunity to witness personal and social change over time. It showcases the evolution of the participants’ lives and the broader cultural shifts that have occurred throughout the years.

Perseverance and Resilience

Perseverance and resilience are recurring themes in 35 Up. The film highlights the participants’ ability to overcome challenges and adapt to ever-changing circumstances, inspiring viewers to face their own obstacles with strength.

Staying Engaged with the Audience

35 Up, like the previous films in the series, keeps the audience engaged by revisiting familiar faces and allowing viewers to witness the progression of the participants’ lives. It creates a sense of investment and curiosity for future installments.

Impact on Documentary Genre

The Up Series, including 35 Up, has had a significant impact on the documentary genre. Its unique concept has inspired filmmakers to explore long-term storytelling and delve into the complexities of human lives.

International Recognition

The Up Series, including 35 Up, has gained international recognition and has been screened and celebrated in various film festivals and venues around the world. Its universal themes and relatable characters resonate with audiences globally.

The Power of Longevity

35 Up demonstrates the power of longitudinal storytelling. By following the participants’ lives over several decades, the film showcases the depth and richness that can emerge from a long-term documentary project.

Critical Reflection on Society

35 Up encourages critical reflection on society, prompting viewers to question the systems and structures that shape individuals’ lives. It challenges preconceived notions and encourages a deeper understanding of the human experience.

Applicability to User’s Life

The themes explored in 35 Up are applicable to the lives of viewers. It encourages self-reflection, prompting individuals to contemplate their own aspirations, choices, and experiences, leading to a greater understanding of themselves.

Emotional Impact

35 Up creates a lasting emotional impact on viewers. The personal stories and journeys depicted in the film evoke a range of emotions, from empathy and nostalgia to hope and introspection.

Evolution of Filmmaking Techniques

The Up Series, including 35 Up, showcases the evolution of filmmaking techniques over the years. From the initial black and white footage to the more polished visuals of later installments, it demonstrates the growth and innovation in documentary filmmaking.

Influence on Other Documentaries

The Up Series, including 35 Up, has influenced other documentaries by paving the way for long-term storytelling and character exploration. Filmmakers have been inspired by the series’ ability to captivate audiences over the span of several films.

Conversation Starter

35 Up serves as an excellent conversation starter for discussing topics such as personal growth, societal challenges, and the human condition. It prompts deep and thought-provoking discussions among viewers.

Revisiting the Past

35 Up, like the other films in the Up Series, provides a unique opportunity to revisit the participants’ pasts and see how their childhood aspirations and dreams have manifested in adulthood. It offers a nostalgic and reflective journey.

Anticipation for Future Installments

35 Up leaves viewers eagerly anticipating the next installment in the series. It creates a sense of anticipation and curiosity to see how the participants’ lives unfold in the next installment, creating a loyal and engaged audience.


35 Up is a groundbreaking documentary series that has captivated audiences for decades. With its unique approach of revisiting the same group of individuals every seven years, the film offers a fascinating insight into the human experience and the passage of time. Through candid interviews and intimate storytelling, 35 Up provides a thought-provoking exploration of personal growth, dreams, and the complexities of life.

From childhood innocence to the challenges of adulthood, the movie offers a rich tapestry of emotions and narratives. With each installment, viewers have had the opportunity to witness the evolution of these remarkable individuals, making it a truly remarkable cinematic journey.

Whether you’re a fan of documentary films or simply interested in exploring the depths of the human condition, 35 Up is a must-watch. It serves as a reminder of the universality of our experiences and the power of self-reflection. Don’t miss out on this thought-provoking masterpiece that continues to inspire and resonate with audiences worldwide.


Q: What is 35 Up?

A: 35 Up is a documentary series that follows the lives of a diverse group of individuals, revisiting them every seven years from the age of seven onwards. It offers a unique and intimate look into their personal journeys and experiences.

Q: How many installments of 35 Up are there?

A: As of now, there have been a total of nine installments of the 35 Up series. The first installment, 7 Up, was released in 1964, and subsequent films were released every seven years after that.

Q: Is it necessary to watch the previous films in the series before watching 35 Up?

A: While each film in the series stands on its own, watching the previous installments can provide a deeper understanding of the characters’ journeys and the overarching narrative. However, 35 Up can still be enjoyed as a standalone documentary.

Q: Are the participants in 35 Up real people or actors?

A: The participants in the 35 Up series are real people who were selected as children to be part of the documentary project. They are not actors, but rather individuals whose lives have been captured and documented over the course of several decades.

Q: What makes 35 Up an important documentary series?

A: 35 Up is considered an important documentary series because it provides a unique long-term perspective on individuals’ lives, showcasing the impact of social and personal factors on their development. It raises thought-provoking questions about identity, social class, and the nature of personal change.

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.