Crime documentaries often focus on the accused, bureaucracy, and the fight for justice. Time takes a different approach by focusing on the true cost of incarceration – time.
Rob Richardson and his wife were well on their way to achieving their dreams. The couple purchased their first home, opened the first hip shop store in Shreveport, and have two young boys.
But they were struggling to make ends meet. Desperate people make desperate decisions, his wife says. The couple decided to rob a bank. Rob was sentenced to 60 years in prison without parole.
That was 20 years ago.
The documentary focuses on his wife, Sibil Fox Richardson. Time combines black and white home videos with footage to show the passage of time as she fights for her husband’s freedom while raising her kids.
The power behind this intriguing and aptly titled documentary is the way its creators bravely veer away from convention. Garrett Bradley and Gabriel Rhodes is able to assemble a time capsule that blends the past with the present. In one moment, you see a home video of a Justus as a kid then cuts to Justus as a young man.
“Time is what you make of it. Time is unbiased. Time is lost. Time flies. This situation has just been a long time, a really long time.” he says in a voice-over.
Time is an artful documentary that makes us examine how much life is unlived and lost to waiting. At the same time it also gives you a look at the people outside prison who are at the mercy of a prison-industrial complex.
Fox Rich admits what they did is wrong, but how much time is it justifiable enough to hold a man in prison? When black offenders are given more time with the same crime as non-black offenders, it becomes a different kind of death sentence.
How can you keep fighting when the legal system is built to work against you? Fox Rich pays a high-priced lawyer $15 grand in cash up front for him to send a letter, only to be told that he can’t do anything a few days before he was supposed to file paperwork.
All the Richardsons could do is hope that the budget for the federal prison system gets cut enough to force their hand and let go of some prisoners.
Time ends on a hopeful note. But you are left with the fact that so much life can happen waiting for justice and empathy, and they are forever lost to time.
Time is an artful documentary that shows the cost of incarceration and its far reaching effects through a heartbreaking time capsule of a family.