What did surprise you about 56 Up?Pleasure and power? I don’t really know what that means. Pleasure and sustenance? Yes. Gross goes on to ask whether the film’s subjects are really happy or just saying so for the camera. Sigh.
Well, that people seemed happy. I mean, I thought they’d be getting depressed, worried about age, very worried about the economic climate, looking back on their lives, maybe sometimes with regret. But no, I mean, what was so interesting to me was that, you know, that a lot of them had found real kind of comfort in their families and their extended families.
I was of the belief in my life that you can’t have everything, you know, that I have pursued a career, I was ambitious, and I paid a price for it. I wasn’t as good a father or a husband as I should have been. And sometimes I thought, well, maybe that’s my way, and maybe that’s the right way. But then I saw the payoff, that people who’d put their energies into their families and their loyalties into their families, that at this age, in their mid-fifties, you know, they’ve got real pleasure and power from it.
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