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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that All the Time in the World is a documentary about a family that decides to spend a winter in the Yukon "off the grid" -- i.e. without time constraints -- in order to re-connect with one another. By and large, their plan works, and by springtime, they don't really want to leave. There are a few setbacks: A cat gets porcupine quills stuck in its face, and the father cuts his hand with an axe and requires stitches (he also gets sick and must be quarantined and uses a rifle to scare away a bear). The mother practices shooting the family's rifle, and the youngest daughter gets scared and cries at Halloween time. Otherwise, many positive, thought-provoking things come from the excursion, and families with younger tweens and up will enjoy discussing the possibilities of such an experiment.
What's the story?
The Crocker family -- dad Gerard, mom Suzanne, son Sam (age 10), and daughters Kate (8) and Tess (4), plus a dog and two cats -- decide that they never have enough time together, so they opt to spend nine months in the Canadian Yukon, living in a cabin with no timepieces to speak of. They make candy and decorations for Halloween, make gifts for Christmas, and spend lots of time preparing food, reading, playing, and being creative. Plus, wood must be cut and water and food must be gathered. Gerard injures his finger and gets lost when his snowmobile breaks down, and a bear invades the camp, but mostly the family loves their time together. And when spring comes, they find they're reluctant to leave.
Is it any good?
When her family spent nine months in a cabin in the Yukon, filmmaker Suzanne Crocker brought her camera; the result is a compelling, quietly revealing story about a family's quality time together. Anticipating that their three kids would grow bored and start fighting, the Crockers are happily surprised when the family thrives, becoming more and more creative and spending more time together reading, making food, sleeping, and playing.
Holidays are shown as times of giving, without the need for buying things. Even hardships and moments of bad luck are handled smoothly and gracefully, adding to the movie's overall gentle tone. It helps that the outdoor cinematography is always lovely and peaceful, especially images like icicles hanging from the branches of a homemade fort and scenes of the family pets exploring their surroundings. Apart from some mildly upsetting scenes, ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD is worthwhile viewing -- and should spark interesting discussions -- for families.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about All the Time in the World's potentially upsetting images/moments (those involving injury, illness, etc.). How/what do they add to the overall story?
Would you consider going "off the grid" with your family for a long time (or a shorter one)? What would you do similarly/differently? Do you think you'd end up spending more time with your family if you were away from the computer and the web?
- In theaters: March 18, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: March 17, 2017
- Cast: Gerard Crocker, Suzanne Crocker, Sam Crocker
- Director: Suzanne Crocker
- Studio: Drift Productions Inc.
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Science and Nature
- Character Strengths: Curiosity
- Run time: 86 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.