Time Simply Passes

Time Simply Passes is a film about James Joseph Richardson, an orange picker in Florida who was wrongfully convicted of murdering his seven children in 1967. He spent 21 years in prison, until he was released in 1989 when the conviction was overturned due to miraculous circumstances. For a moment, he became a National celebrity and the face of the Innocence Movement. For the past 25 years, he's been struggling to survive, living off donations from friends while attempting to receive compensation from the State.

This is a film about race, about Florida, about the evolution of small-town justice, about forgotten historical moments, about systemic corruption at all levels of government, and a philosophical evaluation of the concept of restorative compensatory justice.

The film makes extensive use of archival footage, photographs, and documents, and endeavors to piece many disparate elements together to tell a story more than 40 years in the making.

  • Ty Flowers
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Crime, Legal, Race, African-American, Police, Prison, Biography, Archival, Florida, Southern, Drama, Experimental, Courtroom, Historical
  • Runtime:
    55 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Full Bloom Film Festival
    Statesville, North Carolina
    October 4, 2015
    World Premiere
    Best Feature Documentary
  • ALBA Human Rights Film Festival
    New York, NY
    October 28, 2015
    New York Premiere
  • Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    November 3, 2015
    Florida Premiere
  • Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival
    Tampa, FL
    December 5, 2015
    Tampa Premiere
    Best Documentary
  • Flagler Film Festival
    Palm Coast, FL
    February 2, 2016
    Best in Florida
  • Thin Line Festival
    Denton, TX
    February 20, 2016
    Texas Premiere
  • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
    Thessaloniki, Greece
    March 12, 2016
    International Premiere
  • Docuwest Film Festival
    Denver, Colorado
    United States
    May 11, 2016
    Colorado Premiere
    Best Mid-Length Documentary
  • DOCUTIFF - Tirana International Film Festival
    June 4, 2016
    Albanian Premiere
Director Biography - Ty Flowers

Ty Flowers is a documentary filmmaker, video artist, and
musician based in New York City. He grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and attended the University of Florida in Gainesville. He has shot and edited Television programs for The History Channel, Science, Natgeo, Discovery, A&E, and the Travel Channel. His
work has been exhibited at or been featured in Spin Magazine,
Pitchfork, Stereogum, NPR, Noisey, and New York Live Arts.
This is his first feature film.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

My father was an investigative journalist in the 1980s. James Richardson was a story he's been working on since I was a child. He wrote many of the articles and took many of the photographs that are featured in the film. When I found out in 2013 that James was still living in poverty, and that there was a bill up in the Florida Senate to potentially give him a settlement after all these years, I thought it would be important and helpful to make a portrait film about his circumstances. As I delved deeper into the complexity of the subject, it didn't seem possible for me to tell the story without telling the complete story, and so I decided to pick up where my father left off.