“Give me the child until he is seven, and I will give you the man.” This old Jesuit saying is the inspiration behind the landmark longitudinal documentary 63 UP which will be shown at the Sunrise Theater Thursday, February 13 at 1pm. Tickets are $10 reserved seating. 

It began in 1963 as an idea of an Australian film producer – A film about seven-year-olds from different social backgrounds and how strongly those backgrounds determined their futures.  The children were selected to represent the range of socioeconomic backgrounds in Britain at that time.  As members of the generation who would be running the country by the year 2000, what did they think they would become?

Director Michael Apted returned seven years later to see how life had changed for the 14 children. Then again, and again, returning every seven years until the current, and probably last update, talking to the group who are now 63-year-olds. Every seventh year, it offered further insight into the premise of whether our adult lives are pre-determined by earliest influences and by the social class in which we are raised. The issue is as relevant to our society now as when the documentary first began.  Although it began as a political documentary, the anthology has become a film of human nature and existentialism.

Several themes have appeared repeatedly over the course of the series. Questions about religion, family, class, happiness and psychological state dominate many of the interviews, as well as inquiries about the worries and concerns subjects have for their future.

Over the six decades, the film has documented the group as they became adults and entered middle-age, dealing with everything life has thrown at them in between. Now, as the group reaches retirement age, we learn what they are doing. The film 63 UP reveals more life-changing decisions, more shocking announcements, and joy and tears.

In 2005, the anthology topped the list of “The 50 Greatest Documentaries”, and one is in Roger Ebert’s 10 greatest films of all time who praised the film as “an inspired, even noble, use of the film medium”, which “penetrate to the central mystery of life.”

A.O. Scott, The New York Times described it as “One of the most remarkable experiments in the history of cinema… Rarely has ordinary existence seemed so multifaceted and enigmatic.”

Tickets to the Sunrise Theater’s screening of 63 UP on February 13 at 1pm are available at, the Sunrise office, or by calling 910-692-3611. Tickets are $10 reserved seating.

logo for email

The Sunrise Theater is a thriving entertainment center featuring first run and independent films, music concerts, local theater, and live broadcasts of the Met Opera and Bolshoi Ballet. The Sunrise Theater continues to be the cornerstone of theater arts and entertainment in the North Carolina Sandhills dedicated to serving the community.

The Sunrise Theater (The Sunrise Preservation Group, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt, Non-Profit Organization. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.