PAST FILM SCREENING
March 29 – 2:00 + 7:30 PM
UK / USA, 2016 – Rated PG – 110 minutes
Directed by Mick Jackson
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall
Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz (Youth, The Lobster) and Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner, The King’s Speech) star in this riveting courtroom drama about a real-life legal battle that cut to the heart of the 20th century: the showdown between historian Deborah Lipstadt and notorious Holocaust denier David Irving. Directed by Emmy winner Mick Jackson and adapted by BAFTA and Berlin Golden Bear-winning screenwriter David Hare from Lipstadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, this film is an absorbing account of a woman’s fight for the truth.
David Irving (Spall), once a well-regarded military historian, courted controversy when he began citing the pseudoscientific Leuchter report as proof that the Holocaust was a hoax. Lipstadt (Weisz) explicitly labeled him a denier in her 1993 book Denying the Holocaust, leading him to sue her for libel. However, because the burden of proof in British libel law lies with the accused rather than with the accuser, it bizarrely fell to Lipstadt and her legal team to demonstrate that one of the defining events of the century did actually happen.
Hare’s previous screenplays for The Reader and The Hours dealt not just with historical events but with the very idea of history itself; Denial is no different. Weisz brings a ferocious tenacity to her portrayal of Lipstadt, while Spall, so often affable in the films of his long-time collaborator Mike Leigh, here epitomizes the banality of evil, playing an iconoclast goaded by newfound media attention. Denial is an especially timely and gripping reminder that history should never be taken for granted.
“Another illuminating performance by Rachel Weisz and a brilliant screenplay by the distinguished British playwright David Hare make Denial one of the most powerful and riveting courtroom dramas ever made.” – Rex Reed, New York Observer
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