A look at the ongoing problem of mass incarceration within the United States, TIME gives viewers an inside look at a family’s fight for justice for over 20 years.
In 1997, Fox Rich and Rob Rich, business owners down on their luck, robbed a bank in a moment of desperation, along with Rob’s nephew. While Fox received 3 1/2 years, her husband, after a failed plea deal, was sentenced to 60 years in prison. Pieced together from the footage filmed by Fox herself to document major moments in the lives of their 6 children, as well as footage from filmmaker Garrett Bradley, TIME is sure to be a conversation starter. The way in which Fox not only keeps the family together, but raised exceptional children as a single parent, is remarkable. What the film boils down to is a revealing exploration of the injustices of the legal system that lead to incarceration of black men for periods that are not commensurate with the crime. What’s worse, there are families torn apart first by the decisions of the criminals themselves, then by the absence of said individuals who are not being rehabilitated, but rather fading into the numbers. When pressed for reconsideration, the Courts repeatedly ignored Fox with the concern that more people would want reconsideration. But shouldn’t injustices be corrected when recognized?
This is an engrossing documentary that is gripping from the beginning, but it is sure to inspire debate and discussion. My firm recommendation is that viewers research the original crime and the subsequent proceedings before reaching judgment, as my only negative regarding TIME is that it leaves a lot of the early details out. Beyond that oversight, however, TIME is sure to go down as one of the most important and inspiring films of the year.
TIME is in select theaters tomorrow and will debut on Amazon Prime Video on October 23, 2020.
Photo from USA Today