Posted by on Oct 14, 2016 in Antisemitism, Books, Film, Genocide, History, Jewish, Racism, Review, Shoah, Time, Women | 2 comments

My review:
No man is an island…
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
John Donne – Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, 1624
War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength. – 1984, George Orwell, 1949
 Two courtroom battles – where language has to shine – were turned in recent years into two outstanding films: Judgement in Hungary which I will present next spring at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum , and Denial, at the Plaza Frontenac for at least another week.
If you ever have to prove with words that reality does exist, good luck… precisely the kind of challenge that Denial takes on with great resolve. Based on a true event, an American Jewish historian finds herself here having to prove in court that the Holocaust did take place.
We know words can kill, yet we use them… and the momentous film, Denial, by reflecting verbatim the tightly orchestrated verbal sparring of the British court transcript, offers a form of relief to the muddied spectacle that we in the U.S. are subjected to during this election year.

Rachel Weisz, Timothy Spall and Tom Wilkinson, each a brilliant presence on its own, together weave the taut fabric for what will have to stand up as truth. The restrained directing by Mick Jackson leads us to consider with much care what could be considered that basic human right: not to be lied to.
What happened is what happened and we will continue to be  joined to others in space, and in time… but as long as words exist, they will be used to conceal reality and historical revisionism will endure. There where it hurts the most is where the enemy will strike: as Pierre Vidal-Naquet, the French historian wrote, it is a tentative of extermination on paper that relays the actual extermination. Whether done by a country like Iran, any group or individuals, denying the Holocaust is a form of antisemitism.

Mick Jackson, director, Denial.
Like many people, I greet each day’s news cycle with mounting outrage and alarm. We move deeper into a new Age of Untruth. Demagogues and zealots fill the air with assertions, half-truths and just plain lies. “Climate change is a hoax,” “the President is a Muslim,” “vaccines cause autism,” “Evolution is unproven.” Lying big has become a routine way of advancing political or ideological agendas.

David Hare, writer, Denial.
Not based on a true story, it is a true story… the words from the trial are the exact words, they’re in verbatim.
I don’t attribute to David Irving any line that he is not on record as having said.

Deborah Lipstadt is a historian & author.
This is a recent interview in the Washington Post: Truth and Lies.
Through the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Denying the Holocaust The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory
Denying the Holocaust by Deborah E. Lipstadt

History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier