Take a 56-year reality show: What determines our destiny?


Take a 56-year reality show: What determines our destiny?

Photo by Edi Libedinsky on Unsplash, this article is reproduced for the Lens WeChat public number "WeLens" (ID: we-lens). Lens is a cultural communication brand dedicated to discovering creation and beauty, exploring the value of life, and conveying the warmth of humanity.

Seven years of Life was updated on time-one of the most anticipated works this year.

It started shooting 56 7-year-old British children 56 years ago, once every seven years until 63 years old this year, and some of them have passed away.

The Daily Telegraph said that in front of it, all reality shows are so pediatric.

The original intention of the film is actually a position first: to verify that "the rich are still rich, the poor are poorer", in order to criticize the solidification of the British society.

Therefore, the film crew carefully selected children of different backgrounds, including 4 girls and 10 boys, 5 of whom were from the upper class, 2 middle class, 4 working class, 1 from the countryside, and 2 from the orphans. hospital.

A child born from a rich family

The 22-year-old Michael Eppert was a researcher at the project. After the first part, he wanted to continue this observation experiment. From the second part, he has been the director. This year is 78 years old.

In 56 years, most people did not jump out of their class. The director's conjecture was verified.

Rich family

Andrew: Cambridge graduate, partner of the law firm, is about to retire.

Bruce: because of the sense of education, Oxford did not choose a high-paying job after graduation, but went to ordinary schools to teach.

John: my father died young and my mother was frugal and raised. Graduated from a famous school, royal legal adviser, keen on charity.

Charles: Resent elite education. After the age of 21, he withdrew from filming and later worked in the journalism industry. He also filmed a documentary for the BBC.

Middle class family

Neil: I suffered from mental illness during puberty, dropping out of college and becoming a tramp. After the age of 40, he turned his life into a parliamentary advisor and amateur pastor.

Peter: on the show, he criticized the government for being attacked by public opinion, so he withdrew from filming. At the age of 56, he returned to publicize the band. Civil servants also write novels.

Workers' family

Tony:Dreams not to be a racing horse, investment in Spain failed, open a lease for maintenance.

Sue: Married and divorced, single mother, engaged with her boyfriend for 20 years but did not marry again. I have never studied at university and are currently doing administrative work at the university.

Jackie: when I was young, I wanted to be a dink, but I had three children in middle age. I have been in poor health and live on relief.

Lynn: I like children, I have worked in mobile libraries, I have been educated by special children, I have been living in the fear of unemployment, and died in 2013.

rural area

Nick:After taking an exam at Oxford and then going to the United States for research, he is now suffering from cancer.

Susie: A rich family, the holiday grew up in the countryside. Secretary school graduated, housewife. I don't like to participate in shooting, and I don't appear in the new episode.

Orphan in welfare home

Paul: Become an electrician, not confident, taciturn, and a wife who is very fond of him.

Simon:Being a worker, having a foster home, has helped more than 130 children.


In addition to the success of Nick and the big and big Neil, the other 12 children did not leave the class where they were born.

They can also see that their later personality and life choices are deeply influenced by the native family. Whether it is love or hurt.

Saris commented in the New York Observer newspaper:

“At some point, I noticed that the seven-year-old upper class child is like a fool compared to the more natural and more lovely lower class children. But they gradually become more interesting and confident, and they surpass those of society. People who are not as good as theirs are really at your fingertips. Hey, class, wealth and social status are really important and can't be avoided."

However, after these children became adults, director Epter gave up the political demands because:

He discovered a more fascinating theme - life.

"at the heart of the whole project, we can see the most mysterious things in life. How did we become what we are today? " Roger Albert commented on the series.

What on earth is determining our lives?

There is no doubt that class, education, environment, friends, these are all important, but other than that?

How to deal with the dramatic changes in life?

Of the 14 people, only Neil and Nick were separated from the class they were born with.

The difference is that Nick made a class transition and Neil fell to the bottom.

From 7 to 63 years old, left: Neil Right: Nick

Neil is the most popular child in seven years of life. He is always bouncing and his eyes sparkle forever.

He dreamed of being an astronaut, or a bus driver, when he grew up-so he could tell passengers what to see along the way.

He was born in a middle-class family and was provided with a good education. The audience is waiting to see if he can realize his dream.

But Neil later dropped out of college and moved bricks on the construction site.

Neil lives in a house without hot water.

Nick is the representative of "reading to change fate."

Born in the countryside, he entered Oxford University all the way. Later, he emigrated to the United States, where he studied nuclear fusion.

At that time he was filled with the innocence of idealists.

When his girlfriend asked him why he studied nuclear energy, he replied that he wanted to save the world.


At the same time, Neil's life slipped into the abyss.

He became a homeless man with no place to live.

It took the director a lot of effort to find him in a remote village, when he lived in a caravan.

From 21 to 42, Neil has been wandering

As an adult, Neil lost his childhood aura. Every time he appeared, he became more and more embarrassed. He never looks directly at the director when he talks, and his eyes are evasive. He always wobbles around nervously and nervously repeats a word many times.

He has been suffering from mental illness. All of a sudden, there is no reason to be depressed and angry, which makes it impossible for him to continue his studies or work well.

Of the 14 children, Neil's fate worried the audience the most. His stories always occupy the most space.

The audience looked forward to hearing his new news. Many people think that he is finished and will not end well.

Before each broadcast, someone wondered: is Neil still alive? is he still in this movie?

By the time he came out at the age of 42, Neil made a big turn in his life: he came to London-not as a homeless man, but as an adviser to the local council.

Neil speaks in Parliament

In seeking the position, his vagrancy helped him a lot-because of vagrancy, he traveled all over the area, knew all kinds of industries, and was perfect for consulting.

Neil’s life is back on track. He has a car, has a house, got married, participated in regional campaigns, and was invited to speak in Australia as a "potential political star."

Neil ran for Congress and canvassed for himself on TV

Suddenly, Neil lost his good-looking loser and became an inspirational model, which made him feel incredible.

Some viewers were very moved to say: Neil showed them what it is called to struggle with life.

When Neil was reborn, Nick encountered a trough in his life. His research could not go on because he could not invent a container for storing hot gas.

He has no chance of saving the world.

He had to retreat from the research and development position, and instead turned to teach students, but also responsible for administrative trivial work. He said that those stupid things made him exhausted.

Nick returns to England every two years and seldom meets his fathe

His family is broken, too. His wife divorced him, his favorite son had a bad relationship with him, and he had to work against him in everything.

In the new episode, Nick has cancer and looks very weak. When he talked about his father's death, he cried. After moving to the United States, he never saw his father again.

Now, the rest of my life may not be much.

But just as Neil has overcome his own predicament, people also hope that Nick can cheer up. Fortunately, it is currently known that Nick has not left the stage. He has booked a new lesson for the next semester.

02 How much can the trauma of childhood affect?

In the program, when these people look back on their lives, many people feel that happiness and achievement, money does not have much to do with, can be loved is the most important.

Bruce and Simon had very different backgrounds, but the same thing, they didn't get love when they were kids.

Bruce, born in the upper class, was sent to boarding school from an early age.

Dad is on another continent, and he can see his father. It is his greatest wish when he was a child.

Boarding schools have a lot of rules, and the children are awkward. Corporal punishment is very common, and Bruce is also awkward.

And Simon is an illegitimate child, not knowing who his father is. When the mother could not afford him, she threw him to the welfare home. The atmosphere of the welfare home is like the army, and the adult care workers will not give the children a little care.

Simon has black blood and is often bullied by older children. He spends his time in uneasiness every day, and can't relax even when he sleeps.

Bruce and Simon spent their whole lives healing childhood wounds.

Bruce accepted the elite education of the upper class and went to Oxford. But after graduation, he chose to go to the most common public school as a teacher.

At the age of 35, he went to Bangladesh to teach again. After returning home, he continued to teach in ordinary schools for the rest of his life.

Through words and deeds, affecting the lives of these ordinary children, Bruce has received great satisfaction from this cause.

Upper; 7-year-old Bruce; Bottom: 56-year-old Bruce

After middle age, Bruce attached more importance to his family than anything else.

Fat as he is, he still plays all kinds of sports with his two sons. He felt that this was what his father should do and that he could not be absent.

He knows that one day the children will be alienated from their parents and there will be no more contacts.

He wants to save some good memories for that day.

Left: Bruce and his wife and children at the age of 56; right: Bruce at the age of 7

Simon’s education is not high. He got married at the age of 21 and gave birth to a lot of children. Later, I got married and got married, and my children are getting more and more.

He has been trying very hard to be a good father. In order to facilitate the pick-up of the children, he deliberately changed his job close to the school. He had never enjoyed fatherly love, and now he wanted to make amends to his children.

In addition to raising his own children, he also wants to help children of the same origin as himself.

When he was in his 40s, he went to the foster parent class and was going to open a small foster home in his own home.

"the foster care center I stayed in when I was a child was so bad that there was no love there. I'd like to drive a different one. "

Over the next 10 years, more than 130 children from around the world have lived here for many years.

Fostering these unattended children is like a big adventure in which a variety of things happen.

For most parents, coping with a child's puberty is enough to cause headaches. And Simon, to deal with the puberty of 130 children.

The reward for the adventure was the children's love for Simon.

After they left, they still called or came back to visit Simon from time to time. On Simon's birthday last year, all the children came back. Simon said it was the best gift he had ever received.

If the original dream does not come true.

In "Seven Years of Life 1", every child has said his dream.

Later, these dreams were mostly broken.

Among them, Tony's dream is to become a horse racer. To this end, he is in the race training ground every day when other children go to school. He got some chances to compete and competed with his idol.

But he still failed-he was not good enough to be eliminated by the sport.

For Tony who gave up studying, horse racing was his chance to change his destiny. After the hope is shattered, he can only be an insignificant worker like his father. He fell into a cynical period of confusion, and learned a bunch of bad habits with the adults around him: gambling, cheating money...

When he was 21, the director predicted Tony's future: he will go to jail sooner or later. But when he met again in 7 years, Tony became a taxi driver and he was very happy.

Tony who often returns to the taxi driver

He had a new ideal at that time: to be an actor.

After that episode, many people said Tony was "cute"-implicably, that no one believed he could achieve it.

But Tony wanted to do it, and with the star dream, he immediately went to the performance class.

Later, I got some chances to run the dragon, but it was limited to this.

Tony is in acting class, and his performance did not impress the teache

He didn't take it to heart, and he turned around and drove back to the taxi, still doing a good job.

When he was traveling in Spain, he fell in love with it. So, I borrowed a large sum of money, bought a piece of land in Spain, and prepared to build some bars and shops. He plans to spend his second half in Spain.


Like the previous two, the plan failed again: next to his plot, the big consortium built a supermarket and robbed all the business.

Tony's business went out of business.

So, the third time, Tony failed and drove a taxi again.

In Tony's story, a lot of people see their shadows:the good hope is broken again and never can cross one mu of land.

In the new episode, there is a new turnaround in Tony's story: he gets a character in the new movie, and has a horse next to his home.

His dream of that year may have come true by only 10%, but it was enough to satisfy him.

In the latest edition, the Children, 63, and Director Abbott, 78, have a conversation that is more like an old friend who can talk to each other.

The 56-year record, if it is said that a conclusion is finally reached, it is probably: there is no standard answer in life, and all life is worthwhile.

Abbott asked everyone, "you regret not being there." "?" The answer he got was no regrets.

Even those who fail in the secular sense can find something that makes them feel comfortable and happy in their own way.

A party at the age of 21

"at first I was used to playing the role of God and predicting their development without feeling. But decades later, I found it an embarrassing mistake. " Abbott recalls.

The interviewees took a picture of themselves at the age of seven. Left: Bruce; Middle: sue; right: Tony

There is no doubt that, as stated at the beginning, Seven years of Life verifies the decisive role of class, education, native families, etc., in life, but far more than that.

As Roger Albert said:

"educators and social science scholars may feel desperate to watch these films, because what a person's future life will be like is already set up as early as the age of seven, even in the womb. But no matter how many years later, the audience can still see the beauty and mystery of life in this unique record. "

This paper is authorized to reprint Lens WeChat official account "WeLens" (ID:we-lens). Lens is a cultural communication brand dedicated to discovering creation and beauty, exploring the value of life and transmitting the warmth of human nature.

Edit & Organize: Zhang Guangyu, the picture comes from the network, the copyright belongs to the original author


A series of documentaries entitled "Seven years of Life"

Documentary; "Seven Years of Life and Me"


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