Kelly and Her Sis­ters Grow Up

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Wed­nes­day, 7.30pm, Bio In 2000, Bri­tain’s ITV chan­nel in­ves­ti­gated a fam­ily of six chil­dren liv­ing in poverty in a hous­ing es­tate in Birm­ing­ham with their de­pressed and oc­ca­sion­ally sui­ci­dal mother and un­em­ployed fa­ther. The re­sult was the BAFTA-win­ning doc­u­men­tary Kelly and Her Sis­ters . Di­rected by Mar­i­lyn Gaunt, the doc­u­men­tary was told mainly in the words of 10-year-old Kelly Ho­gan and her five sis­ters. A delightful and re­source­ful kid with a great at­ti­tude to the mis­ery around her, Kelly broke hearts and did much to bring the at­ten­tion of the govern­ment of the day to the prob­lem of child poverty. A lot has has changed in Bri­tain and Tony Blair’s prom­ise to end child poverty has failed mis­er­ably, with an es­ti­mated three mil­lion Bri­tish chil­dren liv­ing be­low the poverty line. Though this fol­low-up was made 11 years later with a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tor (Jamie Berry) there are many catch-up mo­ments from the orig­i­nal. They lend the pro­ject more than a hint of Michael Apted’s ex­cel­lent so­cial an­thro­pol­ogy se­ries Seven Up.

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