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Entries in Denial [2016] /CAP (1)


Denial (2016)

Denial works better as a cultural mile marker than as a piece of drama. This is neither the fault, per se, of writer David Hare or director Mick Jackson who, in adapting historian Deborah Lipstadt’s book, Holocaust History on Trial, turn viewers into flies on the walls of various courtrooms, apartments, and law offices during one of the new century’s most confounding cases. Lipstadt (played with fiery Queens spunk by Rachel Weisz) spent years defending herself against Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall, exuding wrong-headed gusto and insecurity). Though both sides make compelling cases (one more than the other), the filmmakers have zero chance, in the moment, of convincing viewers that the outcome could be anything but completely expected. Twenty years on, our political climate still tolerates bald-faced public lying about demonstrable facts. Sadly, that meta-commentary is all that gives Denial heft as a movie.

Listen to Kicking the Seat Podcast #157 for my interview with Deborah Lipstadt!