Director: Garrett Bradley
Synopsis: Fox Rich is a fighter. The entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother of six boys has spent the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year sentence for a robbery they both committed in 1997 in a moment of desperation. Combining the video diaries Fox has recorded for Rob over the years with intimate glimpses of her present-day life, director Garrett Bradley paints a mesmerizing portrait of the resilience and radical love necessary to prevail over the endless separations of the country’s prison-industrial complex.
Director Garrett Bradley [Below Dreams (2014) and America (2019)] paints an utterly absorbing portrait of resilience in this intimate yet epic love story filmed over two decades.
Indomitable matriarch Fox Rich strives to raise and keep her family together as she fights for her husband’s release from the Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly known as ‘Angola’.
The entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother of six boys has spent the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a sixty-year sentence for a robbery they both committed in 1997 in a moment of desperation. Combining the video diaries Fox has recorded for Rob over the years with intimate glimpses of her present-day life, director Garrett Bradley provides contemporary glimpses into the family’s everyday routines, including court dates, collect calls, bi-monthly visits to Angola and updates from judges and lawyers. In a life lived with fierce and unrelenting hope, Fox and her sons celebrate holidays, anniversaries and graduations, believing each year that the next one will be with Rob — and they continue, unwaveringly, in the face of disappointment.
In 1997, Fox Rich and Rob G. Rich were newly married high school sweethearts trying to start a business in Shreveport, Louisiana, when a moment of desperation led to a botched bank robbery that landed them both in jail. Fox served three and a half years; Rob was sentenced to sixty. When Fox emerged, she dedicated her life to getting her husband out of prison and raising their six boys. A model of strength and perseverance, her mantra is “Family is everything and everything is family.”
Fox has spent the last twenty-one years filing appeals, making phone calls, giving lectures, and serving as a vocal advocate for other families broken up by incarceration — while also running a business and caring for her children on her own. Through it all, she has documented their family’s life for Rob, creating a home-video archive of all the crucial moments he has missed as a father, footage that also reveals Fox’s remarkable trajectory from a vulnerable young woman to an indomitable matriarch, entrepreneur, and abolitionist.
Time cross-cuts footage from the past and present, framing it with a lyrical voiceover from Fox and her sons to provide a uniquely intimate perspective into the long-term costs of incarceration: the children who grow up without fathers, and the mothers who are forced to become caregivers and legal experts all at once. It also reveals how families sustain themselves on sheer faith to prevail over the endless separations of the prison-industrial complex — a remnant of the legacy of slavery. The film’s beautiful black-and-white cinematography and symphonic rhythm lend an epic quality to Fox and Rob’s story — a story not just of strife, but also of radical, resilient love.
The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2020, where it won the U.S. Documentary Directing Award.
“My story is the story of over 2.3 million people in the United States of America who are falling prey to the incarceration of poor people and people of colour,” says Fox Rich.
Time delivers a powerful broadside against the flaws of the American justice system — and chronicles one family’s refusal to give up against all odds.
On Amazon Prime
Images courtesy of Amazon Studios