Family is everything and everything is family.” When this is your mantra, does time even matter. Garret Bradley's, Amazon documentary, “Time” makes you ask yourself these question as you watch each scene unfold. How do you capture each moment of time to share over 60 years?
Sibil Fox Richardson (Fox Rich), a Louisiana black woman, captured every possible moment to share with her husband, Robert Richardson so he would not miss any time from the family.. In 1997, the newly married couple quickly saw their dreams of owning a hip hop culture store disappear in a failed robbery attempt. Fox acted as the getaway driver while Robert and his nephew proceeded to rob the Shreveport Credit Union. Presented with a plea, Fox decided it was best to accept as she was pregnant with twins and hoped to quickly return home to their children. Sentenced to 12 years she served three and a half, while her husband Rob was sentenced to 60.
The purpose of this documentary is not about prove his innocence. In fact, they both have accepted their responsibility and attempted to right their wrongs, “regretful but not embarrassed”. Three first time offenders, no cash stolen- does the time fit the crime. This story shows us how incarceration resembles slavery and a lack of reform. We are further presented with examples of the long-term costs of incarceration: children who grow up without fathers, and the mothers who are forced to become caregivers and legal experts all at once. It reveals the strong connections that families have with faith, while reminding us that humanity is lost on prisoners and their families.
“God looks after the sparrows, Sybil and God will watch us”Robert
Fox has dedicated her life to uniting her family. You see the level of growth with each passing year as she becomes a a self proclaimed abolitonist. Fighting to suppress the “Angry Black Woman” as she dances with a white-run institution hoping for a glimpse of progress. For twenty years she started each year, knowing this was the year only to realize that if nothing “has happened in the courts by Thanksgiving, you are about to end the year incarcerated.” Raising 6 kids and running a business, she is a true example of undying love, hope and strength.
Initially I was annoyed that it was filmed black and white but quickly realized how it along with actual voiceovers helped shaped the story. Scenes flash back and forth, from past to present in no particular order but it seems to all be happening currently. We see Fox pregnant, then, telling her story of injustice to a crowd, then her son receiving his “white coat”, then as small children celebrating an award from school. I also admit that there were scenes where my eyes were filled with tears. Watching her apologize to the kids was so powerful. As parents, we all want our children to be better than us as we hope the lessons we instill in them are enough.
“Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” This amazon prime documentary is intended to open our eyes to see this population that is often invisible and forgotten.
TIME is directed by Garrett Bradley (Alone, America) and produced by Lauren Domino (The Earth Is Humming, America), Kellen Quinn (Midnight Family, Brimstone & Glory) and Garrett Bradley. Executive producers are Laurene Powell Jobs (The Price of Free, A Thousand Cuts), Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for ‘Superman,’ An Inconvenient Truth – 2014 Academy Award® winner for Best Feature Documentary), Nicole Stott (Searching for Sugar Man, Restrepo), Rahdi Taylor (Minding the Gap, I Am Not Your Negro) and Kathleen Lingo (Walk Run Cha Cha, 4.1 Miles). Co-executive producers are Jonathan Silberberg (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, “Iconoclasts”) and Shannon Dill (Inheritance, He Named Me Malala).
When the film premiered at Sundance this year, Garrett Bradley became the first Black woman in history to win the US Documentary Directing award.
TIME will be available in select theaters on October 9th and Worldwide on Amazon Prime Video October 16th
It is rated PG-13 with a running time of 81 minutes.