The Holocaust is hardly a new topic in cinema. Every year, filmmakers in Hollywood, Indiewood, and abroad find new angles to tackle in one of the most appalling chapters in modern world history. Yet, though it’s an odiously fast-growing movement on both sides of the pond, Holocaust denial has never been explored on the big screen. “Denial,” about the 1990s libel lawsuit brought by English historical author and Holocaust denier David Irving against American academic Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books, does just that, with a lively fortitude that challenges legal and moral relativism.
Clad in an orange perm and the unflattering tweeds of a New York intellectual, Rachel Weisz plays Lipstadt in her third great performance of this season. (Count “The Light Between Oceans” and “Complete Unknown” as the vehicles for her other two.) We meet the professor of Jewish studies as she’s giving what’s now an infamous 1994 Emory University lecture about Holocaust deniers. Her book on the topic is newly published, and just as she’s asked why she doesn’t respond directly to those who claim this mass genocide never happened, Irving (Timothy Spall) stands up in the audience and challenges her to a debate. He’s physically ejected but two years later finds a way to force the issue: He sues her through the English courts on the grounds that her book, now titled Denial: Holocaust History on Trial, has ruined his career. Continue Reading →
I’m having a nervous breakdown about tomorrow’s debate, mostly because I’m convinced nothing good can come out of it. Sociopathic Trump has treated this country like his romantic prey for a year now. The Democrats are the women he’s dumped (“Don’t listen to that bitch; she’s crrrrazy.”); the Republicans are the sorority sisters he’s still trying to shtup. (“Let me say exactly what you want me to say while I unhook your bra.”) Ultimately, anyone unfortunate enough to date a malignant narcissist knows that there’s no besting such a black hole except to change your number, leave town, and get thoroughly tested for STDs. Pray for Hillary; I’ve been doing it all day.
9/26 Postscript: Given that I have not been able to turn my head to the right for four days (I have a pain in the neck; ah, body as metaphor), I’m leaning toward not watching the debate at all, just turning off my electronics and beaming Mz. Clinton pure light.