"Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man."
The Jesuit maxim behind the landmark UP Series has now been taken to South Africa, where a group of children, first filmed in 1992 at the age of 7, are now 21. Rich and poor, black, white and "mixed race," the fascinating and revealing portraits featured in 21 Up South Africa offer unique insights into the social and political upheavals that have occurred throughout South Africa since the crumbling of Apartheid.
From township slums to apartheid-era mansions to the bushveldt, the 14 children who started the Series have experienced a multitude of changes, just like the country itself. As with time-lapse photography, we see them at age 7 and 14 - capturing their disarming honesty, dreams, aspirations for the future - and now at 21, figuring out their place in the world, part of the new South Africa - "Mandela's Children." In successive interviews we witness their changing attitudes and experiences about issues ranging from race relations and education, to crime and unemployment, to marriage and the AIDS crisis - which has already claimed the lives of three of these children.
"RIVETING! 21 UP South Africa is particularly compelling and revealing."
- Sunday Morning Herald (Australia)
"MOST DRAMATIC! A really interesting and accessible way of seeing what's happened to
a country through these ordinary people."
- The Age (Australia)
A History of South Africa by Leonard Thompson
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela
- Interview with 49 UP Director Michael Apted
Running Time: 70 minutes