Time Spent

Saturday 00:30

Rob Daniel Hutt | 
2023 | 
United Kingdom | 
12:28 mins | 
Nathan and his girlfriend are struggling with the cost of living crisis in the UK, so when Nathan gets a chance to interview for a dream job, he jumps at it. After arriving in London for his interview, Nathan finds himself at a luxury apartment which feels a world away from his council flat on the estate. Nathan quickly realises that something is off when he's faced with making an impossible decision that will affect the rest of his life. With the clock ticking, Nathan will have to decide whether to accept an opportunity of a lifetime or give up his memory of these events.

Time Spent, by Rob Daniel Hutt, takes the present cost of living crisis, deepened by over a decade of Tory austerity, as its dramatic cue in a story of exploitation and bio-politics. In high-concept thriller package it delivers some interesting ideas about class, race and power.

The crux of the story centres on the dilemma our protagonist faces when job-searching. Instead of a typical gig, he finds a bio-engineering company that will exchange years of his life for the money he would earn over those years. The analogue to class and exploitation is clear here: lives do have monetary value, reduced to units that circulate and create capital. The impossible decision that Nathan faces is one that we each day wake up to and take for granted. But this isn’t a question of personal choice but of a system that degrades us.

Time Spent also brings into relief the encroaching world of bio-politics. In a similar sense, bio-politics can be seen as an extension of the capitalistic reduction of humans to monetary units. Biopolitics, however, harvests data and information at the same time as using these for pre-emptive measures of societal control. The rise of technology has created a world a newer horizons, but at what cost?

Packaged in an accessible thriller blockbuster genre, Time Spent shows us the cost of our labour in a techno-capitalist society.