Fox Rich is an entrepreneur and mother of six sons. Twenty years ago, she and her husband Robert robbed a bank to save their business from bankruptcy. Fox, who chose to accept an agreement with the prosecution, only spent five years in prison, while her husband, who refused him, was sentenced to sixty years in prison, a punishment considered by many to be decidedly excessive. For more than twenty years, the woman has been fighting for her husband's release, clashing with American prison institutions and denouncing their injustice around America. By juxtaposing the videos from the past that Fox recorded for Richard to document their children's growing up with the present of intimate glimpses of the woman's life and her family in the present, the director Garrett Bradley composes the extraordinary portrait of resilience and unshakable love in the face of life's adversities. Fresh from its success at the latest edition of Sundance Film Festival, where he won the director's award in the documentary category, T arrives in the halls of Rome Film Festival, where it is already in the running for the best film of the selection.
Time: a cross between past and present
An intimate and superbly constructed tale, the film investigates in a whole new way the thorny question of the US prison system, one of the great contradictions of the most important Western democracy. Yes, because the United States, home of the free and the brave, has an unfortunate as well as ironic world record: the highest number of prisoners per capita in the world, with a very high percentage of black prisoners. A reeducational and criminal system that has long been the subject of criticism and debate, of which perhaps the best known example to the general public was the Netflix black comedy Orange is The New Black.
Time echoes a new wave of feminine authorship and a new artistic expression in the panorama of documentary and reality cinema. The references of the film to the first (and best) Spike Lee do not go unnoticed, as does the parallel of Bradley with authors of the highest quality and current relevance such as Ava DuVarney.
The director tries her hand at the feature-length documentary for the first time after a long experience in the short film, skilfully balancing artistic identity and gender rules: Garrett Bradley gracefully combines a corsair format with moments of documented truth, alternating the past of Fox home videos to the moments captured by the camera. A swing between past and present, built on an alternating montage of two periods of time that are also two technologies in comparison: family moments captured and preserved by Fox's small analog camera and the filming of the present in the digital format of the new cinema , also mentioned in the sometimes excessive use of the smartphone by the protagonist.
Past and present that mix, merge, become an organic unity that explores an expectation that is a martyrdom, a lack that is an atrocious pain, an injustice that has its roots in the violent racist past of the USA. But also a praise to life and maternal love, resilience and the fight against institutional racism through the pursuit of excellence: Fox who, as a single mother of six children, builds a life of ease for her and her expectant family ( patient) of her husband's return; his children, model students, who aim for success spurred on by their indomitable mother.
Time is much more than an exercise in style. It is the chronicle of a love that wins over adversity, over success as a fight against racism, over struggle as a reason for living and over the hope that dominates the oceans of time.