Based on the acclaimed book "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier," DENIAL recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt's (Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (Cannes Award winner Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system in Defamation, the burden of proof is on the accused, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred. Also starring two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson, the film is directed by Emmy Award winner Mick Jackson ("Temple Grandin") and adapted for the screen by BAFTA and Academy Award nominated writer David Hare (THE READER). Producers are Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff.Written by
When Deborah and Richard visit Krakow Poland, there is a trumpeter playing from the top of a church. That is St. Mary's church, and the trumpet playing is called St. Mary's Trumpet Call. A trumpeter plays a five-note anthem every hour on the hour to denote the time. See more »
When in the Krakow city center, the Hard Rock Cafe can be seen in the background. The events of the movie took place in the 1990s, but this particular Hard Rock Cafe didn't open until 2010. See more »
They're a strange thing consciences. Trouble is, what feels best isn't necessarily what works best.
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Some people seem to have a big problem with this film. I didn't. I found it very interesting and while not mind-bendingly great, it wasn't the horror that it's presented to be in some of these reviews.
"Denial" is based on the book "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier." It is the story of Deborah E. Lipstadt (Rachel Weiss) and her legal battle in a libel trial brought by Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall).
In the British legal system, the burden of proof is on Lipstadt, who has maintained in her writings that Spall has fudged certain facts and left out others to make his case that the Holocaust did not happen. Her team, led by Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson) and Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott) make it clear to the feisty Deborah that they are putting Irving on trial. They are not interested in Holocaust survivor testimony, because they say that Irving will make mincemeat out of them since their memories often aren't perfect. They do not want her to take the stand. The trial is to prove the truth of Lipstadt's writings about Irving.
One of the reviewers wrote that the Irving portrait is highly distorted. The dialogue in the courtroom is verbatim from the actual transcripts. You tell me if this man is a Jew-hating racist or not and if he in fact misrepresented facts to fit his agenda. No one said he didn't have a right to believe what he believed, to make jokes about other races during speeches, to teach his daughter racist songs, make fun of the Holocaust, and write his opinions. But he brought the lawsuit because he was accused of distorting facts, no one else did.
The most moving scene was the team's visit to Auschwitz, very well photographed and movingly acted.
The acting was sensational, though I have to admit that Rachel Weisz did overplay at certain points. She is a wonderful actress, and having seen her in person in "Betrayal," I can testify that she's unbelievably gorgeous in person. But the director could have toned her down a little in some scenes. Andrew Scott is one of the finest young actors around, and he's brilliant as always. Tom Wilkinson is perfection as Richard Rampton.
Why this film should have incited such awful comments on this board is beyond me. It's a movie. If you want to know more about Holocaust denial, read up on it. Read up on Irving. See if you think his character was distorted. Everyone knows films use dramatic license.
Denial is not perfect. It has some clichés, it has the David v. Goliath thing going - and yes, none of that is new. But it doesn't deserve to be trounced on like a work of Satan.
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