It’s not often that historians are the stars of a movie, but they are here in ‘Denial’, based on Deborah Lipstadt’s book History of Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier. It has an stellar cast (Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall)- and look! Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott) from Sherlock. They are all excellent.
Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books were sued by British holocaust denier David Irving who, although not attached to any academic institution, has published prolifically on Hitler’s Germany throughout his life. Because the case was held in Britain, the burden of proof lay with the defendant and, given Irving’s claims, the stakes were high. Irving, who defended himself, clashed in court with eminent Third Reich historian Richard J. Evans in a 28 hour cross-examination. Aware of the implications of a loss, Lipstadt’s legal team resisted debating Irving’s claims, but instead looked at his history-writing.
Historians as heroes! That’s what I like to see!
My rating: 9/10 (I confess to some possible bias, but both Dad and my husband enjoyed it too)