Time – available on Amazon Prime Video
Fox Rich is an entrepreneur and mother of six boys. She has been campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, for two decades now. The latter is serving a 60-year prison sentence for a theft they both committed in the early 1990s in a moment of desperation.
AlloCiné: What was your approach with this documentary?
Garrett Bradley (director): It all started with a short film, a small documentary on the world of female incarceration in the United States and more particularly black women serving various prison sentences. At first, I wanted to create a series with several conversations around different women sharing their testimonials. From there, I wanted to develop a feature film returning in more detail to the heart of prison hell. And I ran into Fox Rich who wasn’t in jail but was fighting to get her husband out. I found their relationship intense and the hell they were going through touched me deeply.
Fox Rich: For us, it was important to bring to light all the injustices that can take place during incarceration. And to show the negative impact on the family environment affected by this situation. It was also a way, with this film, to put pressure on the system to get Rob out of prison. Fortunately, we had the good surprise that he was released before the end of the edit. Which adds a positive note at the end of the documentary.
What was the most complex aspect of completing this film project?
Garrett Bradley (director): For me, the hardest part was making a film that holds up. Especially since Fox Rich gave me access to more than 100 hours of family archives. So I had to sort it out and build the most successful visual puzzle possible. These are hours of work at the editing table.
What impact do you hope to create with this documentary?
Garrett Bradley (director): This is what I asked Fox Rich before starting this adventure. What does she expect from this film? She replied that her story is truly the story of over 2.3 million American families who go through the same hell to free one of their own, still in prison. More than ever, I hope the film sheds some light on all these souls kept in the shadow of a cell. We hope that the system will be able to reform itself with the various cases and with the pressure of the public. Thank goodness the media, finally, seem to be increasingly interested in the problems created by the justice and prison system.
Fox Rich: Love is what will save us in the end. It was love that saved me and that saved our marriage to Rob. It is the strongest force in the universe. Hope people will trust love to solve any problems we are having at this time.
Rob Rich: This movie is bound to move you from within and make you want to change things. It’s an invitation to take action! We are starting to have very positive audience feedback which
are watching the movie and we’re even starting to get prizes at festivals like the one in Zurich which just took place. In the end, it’s a film about the fight that you always have to fight in life to win.
Are you optimistic about the future?
Garrett Bradley (director): To be optimistic, you have to believe in the future. And I believe it! I really think we’re on the cusp of a big change, at least here in America. I think the ultra-capitalist system is running out of steam and that we are going to find new life with a more egalitarian system, more just for all. Also see how the justice system and police brutality are systematically condemned by all, whether politicians on the right or on the left. This proves that we are in a phase of transition of civilization which is becoming, I dare to believe, more human.
Fox Rich: More than ever, the world is ultra-connected thanks to the web and to platforms that offer films like ours. Thanks to this global “education”, I truly believe that things are changing and the world is getting better. And this, despite the current sanitary period which “slows down” us. Look at the number of people who dare to express their desires as well as their frustrations on the net. Yes, I am an optimist and I think we are headed in the right direction.
Rob Rich: Absolutely, optimism is what saved me. I am living and free proof!
Interview in Los Angeles on October 13, 2020