Review #2: “Time” (2020)

Garrett Bradley’s documentary Time is a beautiful exposé of a black family dealing with the crushing penalty of time and the American incarceration system. The film follows Fox Rich and her family of six boys as they wait for their father’s release from Angola prison in Louisiana.

Shot in black and white Time is as dreamy as it is patient. With a wandering piano score the film wades through the epochs of time as the family patiently awaits for Robert Richardson release. Using Fox Rich’s home movie tapes that she used as a video diary during Roberts absence, the film masterfully drifts from past to present showing the young and cheerful family grow up without their father. The warm and fuzzy home tapes envelopes you into the Richardson family and you really feel like you are there with them as they pass through long periods of their lives without Robert.

Though the film keeps its distance from the penitentiary it delivers the cruelty of jail time and state punishment by showing Robert’s wife grapple with unjust state bureaucracy. Bleak phone calls with the judicial secretaries and pensive looks out at nothing sum up the waiting process that the family is dealing with. But hope is not loss because black people are resilient in the face of adversity and The Richardson family like many black families give themselves hope through affirmation and praise.

This is a wonderful documentary and should be a must see for abolitionists.

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