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  • Writer's picturePerrin Faerch

Review: Time (2020)

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Original Review Date: 20 October 2020

2020 has been challenging to say the least. Right now, more than ever, we have been finding ways to escape the realities surrounding us by burying ourselves in films, books, games and binging every single thing streaming services have to offer us. As much as the year has delivered in excellent fictional films and series, it has given us an abundance of truly exceptional pieces of non-fiction works that are not only still a form of escape from our daily anxieties, but are also insight into real people experiencing real situations. These important bodies of work allow us to not lose sight of on-going issues that are still occurring during a pandemic, but also offer glimpses of hope in a mostly hopeless world. Time (2020) is one of those works.

Fox Rich is a successful businesswoman who, for the last two decades, has been fighting for the release of her husband, Rob G, from prison, who is serving a 60 year-sentence for a bank robbery they both committed due to a moment of desperation.

There have been many films that tackle the broadening cracks in America’s Justice System, but few are quite like Time. Instead of giving us a procedural take on such a broad subject, director Garrett Bradley shows us the journey of Fox and her family as they continue to hold hope that Rob G will come home any day now. Fox’s personal home footage collected over the two decades is cleverly weaved into the perfectly suitable black and white photography. By doing this, we get a real sense of Fox and Rob G’s entire journey of regret, hope and finally redemption. It really is inspiring seeing how successful Fox eventually becomes as well as seeing her children grow up to be incredibly smart, ambitious and loving kids unfortunately taken away from the chance of ever experiencing the love and support of their father at home with them. It’s an inspiring insight into the strength of Fox as she manages to raise these kids in a truly terrible situation.

The choice of not giving us a clear-cut chronological timeline of these events also allows us to get a taste of the uncertainty, frustration and undying hope that we experience with the subjects - not knowing when and if the constant fighting against the system will finally pay off. The appropriately minimal score comprised of pianos and organs helps drive the films pace at an expert speed, steering us closer to a conclusion we find ourselves begging and praying for. Which in turn, successfully envelopes ourselves in the Rich family’s experiences.

One of the essential pieces of documentary filmmaking from the year is unique and effective in its approach of an unfortunately familiar subject. Expect this to be on many year-end lists, and deservedly so.

You can stream Time on Prime Video.

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