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A brood of kids sleepily go through the morning ritual of dressing, eating their cereal and cleaning their teeth before straggling out behind their exhausted mother for a lengthy succession of bus and train journeys. They’re visiting their dad in prison.
Filming in short bursts over five years, director Michael Winterbottom uses the repetition of daily life to show how an enforced separation affects a family. And because this is like an observational documentary rather than
a drama, there are no prison breakouts, sadistic screws or domestic violence. Shirley Henderson and John Simm are terrific as the parents, but the children, who we see gradually grow up in front of the camera, are real-life siblings and their natural performances accentuate the air of realism.
Henderson is exceptional but, though ultimately a rewarding story of survival and love, Everyday is emotionally draining.
Drama telling the story of a woman taking her young kids to visit their father in prison over a period of five years. Shirley Henderson and John Simm star as the couple, with real-life brothers and sisters Stephanie, Robert, Shaun and Katrina Kirk as the children, who literally grow up throughout the course of the film. Directed by Michael Winterbottom.
Full Episode Guide
How did Channel 4's Everyday film a real family in a real prison over five years?
"It's not easy when you're only three and Moaning Myrtle out of Harry Potter is pretending to be your mum and the Master from Doctor Who is your dad..."
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That Week On TV: Everyday, C4; Sound It Out, BBC4