“People watch this film and feel deeply connected,” declares Lauren Domino, one of the producers of “Time.” The documentary about the impacts of incarceration on a family premiered to great acclaim at Sundance in 2020. After winning a number of critics prizes, the film is nominated for Best Documentary Feature at this year’s Oscars. Watch our exclusive video interview with Domino and fellow producer Kellen Quinn above.
The film, directed by Garrett Bradley, is told from the perspective of Fox Rich, a single mom who fights for her husband’s release from prison as he serves a 60-year sentence for armed robbery. Utilizing newly shot footage as well as home movies taken by Rich herself, the film is a haunting yet uplifting look at one family’s struggles and triumphs against a multitude of obstacles. Quinn argues that it’s quite difficult to explain the film for the simple reason that it is about so many different things. “It has these themes and topics: mass incarceration, institutional racism and the way that both of those things affect families,” he explains. “It’s also an expression of the emotional experience of time.”
Domino believes that part of the film’s success is due to the presence of Fox, a dynamic woman struggling to raise six boys while working towards her husband’s release. “She’s so incredibly dynamic and inspiring, and when you’re in a room with her you’re immediately drawn to her,” argues Domino. “With Fox it was just like ‘Wow, you are so authentic and you exist in the fullness of your experience.'”
Both Quinn and Domino see the film’s success as a reflection of its universal message, something that exists despite the specific circumstances of its subjects. “So many people assume–frustratingly, often– that a story that deals with incarceration, with a black family contending with the carceral system is going to be a story that wither feels like homework or feels like a history lesson,” says Quinn. “But at the center of it is something that transcends that. It’s also about joy and about love.” Domino agrees, and argues that the film’s sense of hope is necessary in the current day. “I think that people connected to this inspiring story,” she argues, “and I think that in a time where things feel really bleak, it’s always good to have hope.”
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