Exploring an individual's prison sentence is favoured within documentary films. Whether it’s Louis Theroux: Behind Bars or Survivors Guide to Prison, we often drag behind a terrifying shadow as they tremble against a metal frame behind bars. What we rarely see are the inmate's families dealing with the pit of anger towards the system that took them.
‘Time’ is a 2020 movie revolving around female Entrepreneur Fox Rich, who has spent the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich. Serving a 60-year prison sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early 1990s, Fox expresses her hatred and loneliness of bringing six boys into the world without both their parents. The film exploits rage in every crevis, but the flow of the movie ripples between recently shot black and white footage, and camcorder reels from nearly 20 years ago.
Videoed on a Sony FS7 camera, and accompanied by long piano pieces that link between time frames, the film is a memoir of insight into a binding relationship of two affectionate parents. Viewing the boy's upbringing on the tapes without their father's influences was an educational input from the director. Portraying the loss of intimacy with his teens, there is already a sense of exclusion. Not only does the classical music used in the edits give a contrast of the family's working-class upbringing, but it leaves the audience dancing in their own thoughts own history.
Any viewer who had the privilege to be recorded as a child, taking their first steps across the hallway in front of the lens, will understand the emotion felt when drawing yourself into the past. I used to watch myself as a child on a tape and feel nurtured and bound by the history of those memories.
There is often confusion that comes with witnessing your earlier development on screen. Did I remember falling into that puddle, or do I recall watching this video and merely replaying it? These tapes will always have significance in your life. And like the movie “Time”, you feed yourself into their story, appreciating it’s realness behind the tale.
The grey colour-grading shows the dedication of the tale, as an audience member you respect the efforts made to link the two decades together. Not only does it give power behind Sibil Fox’s fight, but it also expresses the efforts made not to give up on her husband after years of waiting.
Without these gifted capsules of documented footage, it wouldn’t have been such a time-traveling piece. This film isn’t seeking alliance; it’s expressing heartbreak and years of pain. Grounding speeches help link the drama, with son Richard graduating medical school and moving up in the world, the director mirrors earlier images of him gleaming as a toddler in the front seat.
This film has a poetic stream of voices, forcing you to reflect on gratitude and how time really is influenced by our own actions.