Connect with us
Fox Rich fights for the release of her husband, Rob, who is serving a 60-year sentence in prison.

Film

‘Time’ Is One of This Year’s Must-Watches

Fox Rich fights for the release of her husband, Rob, who is serving a 60-year sentence in prison.

London Film Festival

With Time, documentarian Garrett Bradley focuses on a stretch of twenty years in the lives of one family impacted by the American carceral system. Her subject is Fox Rich, the wife of a man facing sixty years in prison for armed robbery. Over the course of the twenty years covered by the documentary, she fights for his release and to right the injustice wrought by the ‘justice’ system. “I am an abolitionist,” she says, comparing incarceration to slavery.

We open on Fox talking to her own camera, shortly after being released from prison for her part in the robbery. She is heavily pregnant with twins – babies who she knows will grow up without the presence of their father in the home.

This is not the case of the US penal system wrongfully imprisoning an innocent Black man; it is a case of the US penal system wrongfully imprisoning a Black man who committed a crime. It can be reassuring to focus on the cut-and-dry wrongness of people who are incarcerated for crimes they didn’t commit, but to do so is to ignore the larger ramifications of the prison-industrial complex.

Documentaries like Ava DuVernay’s 13th have very successfully invoked outrage at injustice through the use of expert talking heads and a few case studies, but Time does away with the framework, emphasizing one family’s humanity above all else. It won’t win over the ‘facts don’t care about your feelings’ crowd, but it does encourage its viewer to re-discover the value of empathy.

The combination of Fox’s home movies with Bradley’s professional filming is a smooth one, thanks to the wash of black and white over the entire film, and the gorgeous piano score. Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou’s music evokes the perfect atmosphere, naturally guiding the viewer along the film’s huge passage of time and striking the right tonal balance between the reality of the subjects’ lives and the distance between them and the viewer. Bradley chooses not to depict the ‘time’ linearly, and in doing so ends up with a film that – despite clocking in at only eighty-one minutes in runtime – truly evokes the swath of life it is trying to depict. The twins Fox was pregnant with during the film’s opening, Freedom and Justus, are the most direct symbols of the cost of Rob Rich’s incarceration: they grow into adulthood as we watch, becoming remarkable men in their own right.

In every moment she is onscreen, Fox Rich inspires. We watch as she raises her six children, speaks persuasively as a reform activist, waits stoically while on hold to lawyers and various other bureaucrats, expresses her anger, shows compassion, and fights without end in sight to get her husband back. Her commitment to justice is far beyond anything one could find entrenched in the current American justice system.

Time is a powerful rumination on the impact of incarceration on a family. It is a cry for reform, more than worth listening to.

  • Ellie Burridge

Time plays as part of the London Film Festival, running from 7 -18 October. Learn more via their website.

Written By

Ellie recently completed a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham and should be graduating sometime soon. Her greatest loves in life are damaged-but-sarcastic fictional characters, coffee, and semicolons.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Facebook

Trending

Anti-War Anti-War

Three Bestselling Anti-War Novels, Three A-List Film Adaptations…Three Flops:  Castle Keep, Catch-22, Slaughterhouse-Five

Culture

Vesper poster Vesper poster

Vesper: Sci-Fi That Thinks Big With Limited Means

Culture

Unforgiven movie review Unforgiven movie review

Unforgiven Ushered the Western into its Afterlife 

Culture

Your Full List of All Upcoming Marvel Movies Your Full List of All Upcoming Marvel Movies

A Full List Of Upcoming Marvel Studios Film And TV Releases

Culture

Robocop 1987 Robocop 1987

RoboCop is a Social Satire That Gets More Relevant With Age

Film

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues

Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: The 10 Greatest Comic Issues

Comics

Nope Nope

Jordan Peele’s Nope Explained: A Spectacle of “Bad Miracles”

Film

Alex's War (2022) Alex's War (2022)

Alex’s War, a Documentary Study of Alex Jones, Misses the Big Picture 

Film

Signs movie review Signs movie review

M. Night Shyamalan Signs Finds Comfort at the End of the World

Film

All Out 2022 Predictions All Out 2022 Predictions

Way Too Early Predictions for All Out 2022

Wrestling

Biography: WWE Legends’ Look at Goldberg is One of the Best Wrestling Documentaries Ever 

TV

Detective vs Sleuths Detective vs Sleuths

Detective vs. Sleuths: Buckle Up for a Bumpy Ride

Culture

Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop 1987 Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop 1987

Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop is an Anti-Fascist Classic 

Film

Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con

Marvel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022: A Full Recap

Culture

High Noon at 70: When Time is of the Essence

Features

Bullet Train movie review Bullet Train movie review

Bullet Train Makes All the Wrong Stops

Culture

Connect