LFF 2020 ‘Time’ Review: Incarcerated on the Outside

Following an armed bank robbery Sibil Fox Richardson served three and a half years in prison. Fifteen years later, her husband Rob is still serving time for the same robbery and will be for the next forty years or so. This film combines documentary footage and home video taken by Fox throughout the family’s time without Rob.

Time charts the lives of the people who get left behind by the incarcerated. We never travel inside the prison, but instead see the weight of the sentenced time as it bears down on Rob’s wife and children, particularly his son Justus. Rob is stunningly absent from their lives, but the empty space he has left occupies every frame.

The horrific nature of imprisonment is explored. The indifference of the justice system and the sheer grinding repetition of the process . Throughout the film we revisit the crime that send the pair along this dark and disturbing path but we focus on the real impact the disproportionate response has had on their lives. Fox give speeches and tries to rally people behind the shared experience of this pain. The energy and passion behind her voice is complimented well by the film’s effecting and intimate black and white photography.

This is a film about the test of time. It’s about the politics around imprisonment and the prejudice that fuels the system, but it never loses the humanity at the heart of the story. The stakes are not just one life but that of an entire family and perhaps an entire community. If one family can triumph over an oppressive and biased

Four Stars

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