Richard Kilborn
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Concluding remarks
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The longitudinal documentary, as objects of study and investigation, teach us a good deal about documentary representation in a wider sense. Barbara and Winfried Junge in their comprehensive survey of the Children of Golzow project provide one of the more detailed accounts of the reception of a long doc by reproducing a number of letters and emails sent in by viewers. Likewise with Seven Up, most observers agreed that much of the series' enduring appeal lies in the way it succeeds in combining the attributes of a compelling social history and the more homespun qualities of a soap-like drama of everyday life. As long docs develop, so each of them seems to veer away from an earlier preoccupation with society-oriented issues such as the formative influence of particular social environments and becomes far more concerned with tracking the twists and turns of individual lives.

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Taking the long view

A study of longitudinal documentary


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