By: Addison Wylie
As an experiment and as an escape, Suzanne Crocker and her family packed up necessities (including a video camera) and took to Canada’s Yukon Territory for nine months.
Suzanne and her husband Gerard Parsons wanted their children to experience the great outdoors and witness the change of the seasons; illustrating that technology and a fixed schedule doesn’t always capture what’s really going on in the world. The trip, however, was equally refreshing for Crocker and Parson – they both needed a reminder themselves.
All the Time in the World isn’t out to say too much that we already didn’t know, but Crocker knows that showing evidence is a much more coherent way to truly understand the mantra of “getting away from it all”. The film isn’t without those moments where Suzanne’s family pat themselves on the back and compliment each other for taking on this challenge, but Crocker’s documentary sneaks up on you. It’s oddly enlightening and surprisingly adorable, which is saying something about a feature that is essentially a family narrating their home movies.
The documentary has some amazing accomplishments, mostly featuring the family building ways to make their temporary bush life as comfortable as possible. I chuckled from being impressed as I watched our trusty documentarian create a quarantined area of the house for her sick husband; and, also when the kids were thinking of ways to keep busy (including opening up their own book shop and teaching each other the value of money). We see the children and their newly acquired interest towards the writing of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and we can’t help but smile when the parents arrange a wedding between one of their youngest and fictitious demigod Percy Jackson (the two communicated through snail mail via their magic mailbox). Yeah, yeah, it’s cheesy. But, believe me, it’s really cute.
The film was shot without an external crew, and it shows – an encounter with a bear towards the final stretch of their visit is edited in a rough, deceiving manner. However, Crocker presents her project in a way that has the viewer along for the ride. While occasionally having the appearance of a found footage horror before the forest creatures attack, the smudgy hand-held footage captures breathtaking scenery. The documentary becomes more and more relaxing as we simply float along the riverbank, appreciating the nature, and listening to the hypnotizing acoustic stylings of musician Alex Houghton.
Let’s not forget about who steals the show though: Crocker’s orange tabby cat. The feline is constantly shown with looks of disdain and curiosity as it tries to adapt to the winter wonderland that forms around it. Again, trust me, Suzanne Crocker’s All the Time in the World is a lazy river that works in mysterious ways.