Denial Review – A Stunning Account as the Holocaust Survives Another Authenticity Challenge

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Denial, from Bleecker Street, is the true story of David Irving, a Holocaust Denier, who charged an American Professor Deborah Lipstadt, the author of "Denial: Holocaust History on Trial" and her publisher Penguin Books, with libel under British Law.

Directed by Mick Jackson and written by David Hare, Denial stars Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall, Andrew Scott, Jack Lowden, Caren Pistorius, Alex Jennings, Harriet Walter, Mark Gatiss and John Session, and is based on the book by Deborah Lipstadt.

Denial begins in Atlanta, a very excited Deborah Lipstadt, played by Rachel Weisz, has just received her newest book and is lecturing at Emory University where she is a professor of Jewish history and studies.

Her lecture is well attended by many who bring up the inevitable question of the day: Did the Holocaust actually happen as told or is it a fabrication of the Jewish imagination to further the means, gain sympathy and enhance the financial status of Jews for generations to come?

In the audience a very loud man stands and begins what appears to be a continued assault as the two adversaries have met previously each debating the others intelligence, awareness and agendas.

The man, David Irving, played by Timothy Spall, a British self-proclaimed historian and scholar who actively pursues the hypothesis that the Holocaust was a myth and never happened. More specifically the gas chambers are a myth, his position remains the six million or so who died as a result of Hitler's extermination did not in fact die in the gas chambers. He has spent a life, and more than one fortune attempting to prove and sustain this as fact.

As the academia community is an open forum for the exchange of ideas, theories, other veins of thought and literary interpretations, the students attending the Lipstadt lecture are enticed by the offer of free books from Irving who promises to dispute the modern and accepted historical accounts of the gas chambers.  

Soon Lipstadt receives a call from her publisher making her aware that she has been charged under British law by David Irving with libel after she called him a "Holocaust denier" in her book Denying the Holocaust. Irving played the home court advantage card, charging Lipstadt under British law which is a two tiered legal system and quite opposite from the United States.

Soon she is in London, unprepared for the soaking rains, the legal system, the strategy the entire system seemed twisted, convoluted, and complicated. More so, she found the "innocent until proven guilty" as the United States legal system affords is the opposite under British law. She was charged with proving she did not intentionally and maliciously libel Mr. Irving.  

Anthony Julius, played by Andrew Scott, the lead legal solicitor, which is where British law for those not accustomed to daily accounts becomes confusing. It was his task to research each aspect of the case.

Taking the case pro bono, it was often thought his effort was self-serving as a case of this magnitude would generate the media attention and do for him what his initial claim to fame, settling the divorce of Diana, Princess of Wales, did.

To argue in court, a barrister must present the case. Richard Rampton, played by Tom Wilkinson, a leading British libel lawyer agreed to take on the case.

Rampton and Julius planned a strategy that seemed offensive to Lipstadt. As an intellectual Lipstadt believed she had some authority in the area and clearly an expertise in the subject and should be given some leeway in decision making.  

Lipstadt has commented David Irving made "Holocaust Denial" fashionable and accepted. He lived in an upscale section of London, dressed like an English gentleman and of course for anglophiles and others his British accent was modern seduction.

His assaults against history were, for those directly affected, equal to saying Pearl Harbor was a myth and the Japanese didn't really commit the morning air raid.

As an historian, it is difficult to imagine an intellectual with this viewpoint and yet the trial began in March 2000 and lasted for 40 days.

Denial is more than accurate account of an egregious misuse of any legal system. It is a film and very well, commendably well done. 

Obviously decisions were made as to the extent of footage of Auschwitz to be used. The solemnness of the moment as they stood before the ruin shells of the Gas Chambers was overwhelming. Pay special attention to the scenes near the gas chambers and the dark clouds in the distance. It appears as if the director used black and white footage mixing with the grey clouds.

The film is very interesting.  The legal system, a courtroom drama as offensive as the challenges, the turmoil, unrest, the gallery of survivors wanting to bear witness to the atrocities, the conflict over strategy all add to the tension as each make decisions based on expertise and not feelings.  

The ruins of the gas chambers, the mountains of personal effects, of shoes, all shown as one would see these items today should one visit the site. It was deeply moving.

Deeply moving and personally touching as history is outrageously tested. Denial maintains the existence of the horrendous crimes of World War II by Hitler and his final solution plans. The question becomes does the English court? Mick Jackson's direction allows audiences to hear the souls of the innocent slain still crying from the grave.

Denial is in theaters everywhere. Check local listings. See this film.

Haute Tease

  • Hank Brennan, Former Prosecutor and Defense Attorney, Provides Commentary on the Aaron Hernandez Trial

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, is entering Day 13 as the defense continues its attempts to discredit the prosecution’s case witness by witness.

     
  • Cal Phil Chorale Joins Heralded Maestro Victor Vener And His World-Class Orchestra For First Of Spectacular Five Concert Summer Series

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Maestro Victor Vener and the acclaimed California Philharmonic present what promises to be another awe-inspiring summer series of concerts, mixing stage and sound, at the iconic music destination the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.

     
  • John Hinckley, President Reagan Shooter, Released from Hospital

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    John Warnock Hinckley, the shooter in the 1981 attempted assassination of then President Ronald Reagan and former Press Secretary James Brady, is scheduled to be released, in August, from a mental facility where he has been institutionalized over the past 36 years.

     
  • Massive Moore Tornado Upgraded to F5; Nine Children Dead; Death Toll Stands at 24

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Nine children died in Monday’s massive Moore Tornado, which ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb, killing 24, injuring hundreds and leaving a trail of destruction through the center of the heartland.

     
  • MitoQ Anti Aging Revolution - CEO Greg Macpherson Talks on the Antioxidant of the Future

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Miracle drugs, the fountain of youth, and eternal life don’t exist. But all it takes is a quick glance at the New Zealand based MitoQ website to recognize that one of these  is close to being realized.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Prepares for State of Union; Honors Sandy Hook Teachers; Announces Additional Appointments

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama, in the first State of the Union address of his new presidency, will speak to the nation, this week, on the issues that are central to the government, well being and prosperity of the United States of America.

     
  • I-Origins Review - Stunning, a Eye-Catching Sci-Fi Winner

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "I-Origins,"from Fox Searchlight Pictures and Verisimilitude/WeWork Studios presents a modern science fiction mystery fantasy that shows the potential of contemporary medical advances and the disastrous misuse when cutting edge falls into the wrong hands.

     
  • Replicas Review - Intriguing Storyline, Advanced Science Sells This Sleeper

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Replicas, from Di Bonaventura Pictures and Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, brings to the screen the collision of science verses humanity when the cruelty of life delivers an incapacitating blow forcing the ultimate decision between life and death.

     
  • NUIT #1 - An Emotional Journey of Modern Encounters from Award Winning Director Anne Emond

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    NUIT #1, from Canadian director Anne Emond, delves, deep and fast, into contemporary sexual encounters searching beyond the momentary pleasures of quick fix sex into the possibilities of permanency.

     
  • mk2 Opens Doors to Europe’s Largest Permanent Virtual Reality Facility

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The newest tourist destination in Paris has opened with the launch of mk2 VR, the largest permanent virtual reality facility in Europe. Located in the heart of Paris' new 'tech district', mk2, offers the best of Virtual Reality (VR).

     
  • Holiday Home Cooking: Diestel Turkey Review - When Only the Best Will Do

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As the holiday season quickly approaches, preparations for family gatherings including choosing the menu, that could include a variation of poultry, meats, seafood and pasta now include planning for leftovers which has become as popular as the main meal itself.

     
  • A Conversation With Battle Los Angeles Director Jonathan Liebesman

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Battle los Angeles, the gritty war sci-fi drama, directed by Jonathan Liebesman has captured audiences throughout the world with its realistic raw portrayal of a nation, a world, on the brink of annihilation.

     
  • Paris Fashion Week: Katrine K., Spring Summer 19 – Pulsating, Feminine, Luminous Pret-a-Couture

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As counterpoise to the austere urbanism and rapidity of change, Katrine K. turns to the subject of rejuvenating true values and pays homage to principles which are significant and far-reaching for a modern woman.

     
  • Money News: Greece Austerity Issues Back On Track; Global Markets Split 50/50

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The DOW Jones Industrial Average fell to the bear with minimal losses regaining lost territory as the Eurozone hammered out a workable deal with Greece bringing the global markets back into the usual roller coaster market ride.

     
  • Who Gets What - Ranking The Countries That Receive the Most Foreign Aid From the U.S.

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The United States’ role abroad remains a contentious issue in politics and elections. From the muscular foreign policy efforts, in the modern era of former President Woodrow Wilson ’s to the flabby and soft efforts of the current administration.