The Revolt of the Scientists

        by Rick Casey

    “HARLINGEN — Friday started badly for John Bradley, the Williamson County district attorney selected last fall by Gov. Rick Perry to ride herd over the troublesome scientists on the Texas Forensic Science Commission.

   His first official act of the morning was to violate the state's open meetings law.

Then his day got worse...

    ...Bradley evicted an Austin-based documentary crew before the meeting started. One of its members called the attorney general's office in Austin, which sent a message to Barbara Dean, the assistant district attorney who has attended all of the commission's meetings, providing legal guidance since its inception.


Special Jury:

  Elvis Mitchell,

  Marjorie Baumgarten

& Robert Wilonsky

   Willingham Filmmakers Will Speak For the Dead

        by John Pierson

“A wildly and broadly appealing documentary...a fundamental enigma...gorgeous...riveting.


November 27, 2010

If there’s an overriding theme to a film that puts science first, it is that science and advocacy are not friends.”

Incendiary is a gripping fact-based explanation, not just of fire science, but how the science that convicted Willingham was wrong. It's one of the most sober debunkings I've ever seen.

The Ghost of Cameron Todd Willingham

On Willingham, I highly recommend everyone in the DC area check out Incendiary, which looks at the case. The explanation of fire science, and the phrenology employed by arson investigators in the case, is gripping. See it. 


The Atlantic

June 23, 2011

“And the Louis Black/Lonestar award goes to-

Steve Mims & Joe Bailey, Jr. for INCENDIARY: The Willingham Case”     #SXSWFilmAwards  15 Mar

VARIETYApril 3, 2011

“...a frequently unsettling account of how dubious ‘science’ possibly led to an irreversible miscarriage of justice...

‘INCENDIARY’ leaves it up to viewers to decide whether justice was served.”



    Justice Examined

        by Charles Ealy

“Amid dozens of powerhouse documentaries, two stand out at this year’s South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival...”

March 18, 2011

Real to reel: Documentaries rule SXSW film this year  by Statesman Staff

“Without much notice, America has entered the Golden Age of documentaries...during the past week, soon-to-be classic documentaries that represent years of work have played for Austin audiences.  They include the previously highlighted ‘Incendiary,’ from Austin’s Steve Mims and Joe Bailey, Jr...”

New Documentary Takes On Willingham Case

“...of the print stories and television features on Willingham...too often, the most important part of the story—the science—has gotten lost.

That’s why filmmakers Steve Mims and Joe Bailey Jr. are to be commended.

    I found it riveting....stunning...The film has a blockbuster ending.


THE TEXAS OBSERVER  March 18, 2011

An Early Look at the New Willingham Documentary

A Sneak Preview of Incendiary

THE TEXAS TRIBUNE December 28, 2010

by Evan Smith


featuring:  reactions to an early cut    |    8 minute exclusive sequence  |    Q & A with the filmmakers

“All Things Considered”

KUT 90.5  March 11, 2011

    “...It’s that so-called witchcraft that directors Steve Mims and Joe Bailey explore in their new film INCENDIARY: the willingham case.

    The film explores the evolution of fire science in the past twenty years, and follows the political twists and turns the case has undergone...”

The Associated PressMarch 11, 2011

 Documentary based on Texas arson case premieres

       by Sommer Ingram

       “AUSTIN, Texas—On the heels of fresh controversy surrounding the Texas Forensic Commission, directors Steve Mims and Joe Bailey, Jr. premiered their documentary Saturday at South by Southwest investigating the scientific and political storm behind Texas' execution of a possibly innocent man.“       


INDIEWIREMarch 9, 2011

The SXSW 11 For ’11: 

iW’s Picks for the Upcoming Festival

       by Eric Kohn


       “The current program has a number of timely documentaries, including ‘Incendiary,’ the story of a man accused—wrongly, perhaps—of arson, which has garnered early comparisons to ‘The Thin Blue Line.’”

March 23, 2011 ScreenJunkies

  SXSW Review:  INCENDIARY the williingham case

      by Joseph Gibson

      “The film’s directors go heavy on facts and expert testimony and light on heartstring-tugging...This is a movie with a lot of information to convey, and it does it in a briskly entertaining fashion – there’s a surprising amount of humor in the movie, especially at the expense of the Texas politicians complicit in faulty evidence being allowed to lead to a lethal injection.

       It might not be possible for a movie to change the world, but Incendiary will probably accomplish the next best thing and make you think about the issues at stake – not just the death penalty and wrongful conviction, but arson investigation and politics taking precedence over justice.”   



    Opinion Blog:  New Documentary Seems to Have Focus Right

        by Michael Landauer

      “Having seen the sneak preview, I can't wait to see more. “   


“Incendiary, a new documentary about the Cameron Todd Willingham case that focuses on the forensics of arson investigations like the one that led to the Corsicana man's arrest, conviction, and execution

following the death of his three small children in a 1991 house fire, will be released this year...”

SLACKERWOODMarch 23, 2011

SXSW Review: Incendiary: The Willingham Case

“No matter what side of the death penalty issue you're on, the aptly-titled documentary Incendiary: The Willingham Case is a must-see for anyone who believes in government transparency and protecting civil rights.”




    An hour and a half into the meeting, Dean, seated behind Bradley, tapped him on the shoulder and quietly spoke into his ear. He announced a 10-minute break, and when the meeting resumed the film crew was in the room.

    When I asked Bradley about the matter, he curtly told me to talk to the film crew. I said I had and he replied with annoyance: ‘Then you know.’

    His defensiveness was understandable. Enforcement of the Open Meetings Act is the responsibility of local district attorneys such as himself.”

Gordon + The Whale March 17, 2011

PopMatters  June 24, 2011



The men backed by books tend to sound informed; the politicians and appointees, spinning language...

...The film undermines the defense that such illogic is a function of ignorance, and instead suggests it’s a matter of deliberate political maneuvering.”

-Cynthia Fuchs

...Dark Documentary, Minus the Dark

      by Nick Barbieri

“...a visually beautiful, enigmatic film that fully immerses its audience

in a world where fire dynamics meet human dynamics

and mystery thrives.”


March 11, 2011

Will New Film on Gov. Rick Perry's Execution Scandal Kill His White House Chances?

...a searing documentary film...
The East Coast premiere of the film on Saturday unveiled a gripping, visually stunning indictment of a miscarriage of justice as great as that chronicled in Errol Morris's groundbreaking Thin Blue Line over two decades ago.  -ART LEVINE

For a heavy film, it’s surprisingly crowd-pleasing, getting vocal reactions from people who may not even have entered the theater feeling strongly about any of its issues...

Yet, for a documentary about such a hard subject matter, INCENDIARY doesn’t attempt to pile on the emotion.  There are a number of scenes...packed with tears, but Bailey and Mims don’t mine those for a quick, emotional response. They’re simply presenting something that happened, even if it was nothing short of crushing.

    “Well-executed, incredibly researched

...utterly fascinating and intensely involving.” 



June 24, 2011
June 25, 2011
“To learn more about the case, I spoke with Steve Mims, co-director of a recent documentary on the case, ‘Incendiary.’”
The darkest chapter of Rick Perry's career
Did the potential presidential hopeful sign off on the execution of an innocent man?

The Washington Post

June 16, 2011

We've spotlighted 10 standouts it would be a mistake to miss.

Silverdocs: Reel stories for all audiences

If you like ‘Conviction’ then try ‘Incendiary: The Willingham Case’

“‘Incendiary’ has all the dramatic trappings of a John Grisham novel-turned-movie, but this is a troubling true tale...absorbing...”

-Stephanie Merry and Lavanya Ramanathan

Silverdocs 2011: Best Bets For What Not to Miss  By Sophie Gilbert

Incendiary: The Willingham Case
In an era when Texas Governor Rick Perry is increasingly being touted as a credible presidential candidate, Incendiary: The Willingham Case brings to life one of his more controversial moments—the 2004 execution of a Texas man for arson, and the scientific evidence that disputed his guilt.

The WashingtonianJune 16, 2011