The mother at the centre of Amazon’s acclaimed documentary film exploring the impact of the US criminal justice system said it was “love” that allowed her family to survive.
Time documents Fox Rich’s attempts to raise her six sons while her husband, Rob, served a 60-year sentence at the Louisiana State Penitentiary for a robbery they both committed in the 1990s.
The Garrett Bradley-directed film, which was screened at the BFI London Film Festival, combines video diaries Fox recorded for Rob while he was locked up with intimate glimpses of her modern day life.
Rob was granted clemency and released from prison after 21 years in 2018. Fox said it was her love for her childhood sweetheart that helped the family survive the more than two decades of separation.
She told the PA news agency: “I loved him from the first time he held my hand when I was 16 years old, and 34 years later I’m still loving him just like I was when I was a 16-year-old girl, just a little deeper.”
The couple were newly married high school sweethearts in 1997 when trying to start a business in Shreveport, Louisiana. In what they describe as a moment of desperation, they launched a botched bank robbery that landed them both in jail.
Fox served three-and-a-half years. She said they both accepted they deserved punishment but argued the US criminal justice system failed in its duty.
She said: “We had committed harm in our community with our actions and then to say that they were implementing justice, our state, or our country, committed another degree of harm in how they treated us for our transgressions.
“So I just think it’s best said by my momma when she said ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. And our system is here to rehabilitate human beings, help citizens get back on the right path, not to annihilate our citizens when they err in their ways.”
Time premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to universal acclaim and won the US Documentary Directing Award.
Time is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.