Interview with Trial By Fire Director Edward Zwick

Emmy- and Oscar-winner Edward Zwick speaks about his latest film, Trial By Fire, in the latest episode of Discussions with DPIC. Zwick produced and directed Trial By Fire, which tells the story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted and sentence to death in 1992 for the alleged arson homicide of his three children. Arson investigators who testified against him used flawed methods, and a jailhouse informant received undisclosed incentives from prosecutors in exchange for his testimony that Willingham had confessed to him, but Willingham was executed in 2004. Willingham’s case featured what Zwick called a “catalog” of problems: “it had the withholding of exculpatory evidence, it had junk science, it had jailhouse snitches who would testify in exchange for reduced sentences, [and] it had a piss-poor public defender.” In an interview with DPIC’s Anne Holsinger, Zwick describes why he decided to tell Willingham’s story, what he learned from the experience, and how he hopes the film will affect audiences. Trial By Fire opens on May 17, 2019.