Time

 

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An extraordinary documentary portrayal of a tenacious wife’s fight against the US prison system. 

 
Time

Fox Rich

 

When African-American Rob Richardson and his wife Sibil (known as Fox Rich) robbed a bank, she spent three-and-a-half years in jail while her husband Rob was handed a sixty-year sentence in the Louisiana State Penitentiary. For twenty years, Fox Rich filmed a diary of the progress of her attempts to have Rob granted parole. Director Garrett Bradley met Fox in 2016 while making another film. She planned a short about Rich but, when Fox produced an assortment of a hundred hours’ worth of home videos, she decided to make a feature.

 

The result is a mixture of early material interspersed with Bradley’s own documentary footage bringing the story up to date. Being a mother of six children, an activist, writer and abolitionist, Fox seems to be exactly the right person for the job. Nobody else would have been so tenacious about securing the release of her husband, yet she kept going against all the odds for some twenty years before there was a result. During all that time she kept buoyant, saw that her children l didn’t suffer, never lost hope (or her sense of humour) and battled on regardless.

Time is an extraordinary piece, with its mix of jerky, hand-held, black-and-white filming by Fox herself, coupled with the professional (monochromatic) work of Garrett Bradley. It has the air of authenticity in which events appear to be happening right now, almost live. It beggars belief that anyone should go to prison for sixty years just for robbing a bank. It may, of course, have something to do with Rob Rich being African-American. And therein lies the point, that it’s one law and punishment for a white man and another law and punishment for a black man. Would a white man have been handed a sixty-year incarceration sentence? Most people already know the answer to that question. It is a subject that has cropped up in many recent films and one that resolutely refuses to go away.

 

If Garrett Bradley deserves professional recognition for directing Time, surely Fox Rich should receive some sort of humanitarian award for devoting much of her life to righting the wrong imposed on her husband.

  

MICHAEL DARVELL

 

Featuring  Sibil Fox Richardson, Robert Richardson II, Fox Richardson, Freedom Richardson, Justus Richardson, Laurence M. Richardson, Mahlik Richardson, Robert G. Richardson and Remington Richardson.

 

Dir Garrett Bradley, Pro Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn, Ph Nisa East, Zac Manuel and Justin Zweifach, Ed Gabriel Rhodes, Music Edwin Montgomery and Jamieson Shaw.

 

Concordia Studio/The New York Times/Outer Peace/Hedgehog Films-Amazon Studios.
81 mins. USA. 2020. Rel: 16 October 2020. Available on Amazon Prime. Cert. 12A.