Time by Theodore Collatos

A camera is set up inside a prison to record inmates talking. I didn't expect them to be so real.

Filmmaker Theodore Collatos offers a compelling slice-of-life portrait that strips down the prison experience to its existential core.

Viewers might mistake this portrait as a documentary, thanks to its gritty cinematography and performances.

But the film follows a group of prisoners, filling in the empty hours of “doing time” as they wait for release. The film drifts from prisoner to prisoner, eavesdropping on their conversations and interactions.

The dramas of their lives exist outside their cells, as they worry about life after prison, miss their pets and confront their limitations.

Its subtle naturalism offers a more humanistic point of view of a prison setting, helping the audience remember that prisoners are humans, too, with often fragile hopes, dreams and fears.

With engaging natural performances and keen powers of observation, “Time” offers a cross-section of humanity, in a place where it’s often forgotten.

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