Justin Timberlake’s “In Time”: A Critique of Capitalism?

I saw the new Justin Timberlake last night, In Time a film where time is the currency used to pay rent, pay for bus rides, buy food etc. Everyone has a watch on their arm, that counts down to their last minute.

Timberlake lives in the hood, and by virtue of a come up, he gets HELLA TIME, a century,  but then has to figure out how to use it productivly.

Everyone who has little time lives a similar time-zone, where folks stay running, why? They have little time. So one of the ways in which social class identity markers functions in the film is by simply how fast you move. Low income folks move hella quick, because they are always on the verge of running out of time.

On the contrary, the folks in an alternate time zone, the elite in New Greenwich move real slow, why? Because they come from time.

Typically I stay wanting to walk out of movies, you all KNOW THAT.

But I really enjoyed this one honestly because I sat down not knowing what it was about.

The critique of capitalism occurred when Timberlake’s character, Will Solace, learns that the folks in zone are kept there living day to day, and dying on the reg (timing out) so that the folks in New Greenwhich can have eons of time. The general idea behind this is that in order for a few to have a lot, many have to die and that this is the natural evolution of things.

This is what we call dependency theory, where we look at the relationship BETWEEN the people who have a lot of money or time and the people who are barely staying alive.

I consider In Time to be Black Feminist win!


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  1. Courtney says

    I explained this movie to my dad and he said, “That sounds just like our economy!”
    I definitely loved the movie and I feel that we can compare “time” in that movie to “money” in the capitalist system we live under today.

  2. Renina says

    Yes girl. I kinda sawwwoooned for Justin in that film. I am glad that you and your poppi liked it as well.


  3. Androkguz says

    Well, I on the other hand think it fails miserably as a critique of capitalism because you can’t really make a comparison between money and money-time when nowhere on the movie they explain where the time comes from. Richness is produced and consumed, and the capitalist argument is that the investor is the real one producing the richness, therefore it is hers. Instead, time is just consumed. Unless you believe that the only source of time is the one year everyone is born with, in which case the dystopia of the movie is so far from real world economics it is imposible to compare them (not to mention, that poor people in the movie lasting more than 26 years makes absolutely no mathematical sense)