Time (2020) - Garrett Bradley
An affecting evocation on the grandiose pain and degradation which the carceral state and the normalization of punitive notions of justice have placed on the social fabric and culture. A culture fundamentally born out of and rooted in individual rights, personal autonomy, and freedom; a culture which expounds its the Christian theological principle of forgiveness and rehabilitation, and yet systemically and institutionally, America has created the largest and most complex institution for imprisoning people the world has ever known. Time explores this terrain through an intimate focus, almost never falling victim to pedagogy through its story that always manages to remain focused on the personal first, understanding that such a level of intimacy can transcend far more than any pedantic display of activism. Through its formal structure which largely subverts temporality, Time manages to be a deeply intimate portrait of one woman's struggle that never feels at odds with the film's larger aspirations for justice and societal change. It may be a bit saccharine to some but in the end, Time recognizes that love itself, not in the context of the personal but in the communal, will ultimately be what sets humanity free of pain and conflict. It's a nice thought.
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