Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall, Andrew Scott, Jack Lowden.
Synopsis: Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for label.
Review: David Irving ( Timothy Spall ) is what is known in this movie as a ‘Holocaust Denier’ and he is not happy about it. He files a law suit in the English High Court against Deborah E. Lippstadt ( Rachel Weisz ) to prove that he is right when he says that the Holocaust did not happen. Deborah decides to defend her self instead of settling the case. Deborah wants to have actual Holocaust survivors give their testimony in court to prove David wrong but her lawyers have other ideas. They want to discredit David since David does not actually have a degree in history from a reputable and accredited university.
The character David Irving says in this movie ‘Academia versus the rest‘. The ‘us versus them‘ narrative. The film focuses on the concept of Dichotomy. This seems to be the problem we see in the world today. The question of ‘did the Holocaust actually happen’ is more of a back drop in this movie. Its more of a fight between two ideologies. An individual has the choice to chose to believe what they want, even at the cost of ‘conformation bias’. For the movie character David, he does not display the characteristics of a historian representing a reputable and accredited learning institution. Even if he does not believe that the Holocaust actually took place, its the ethical, moral, and humane etiquette to take into consideration that the survivors may have been victimized and if they were, show respect for your follow human.
Unfortunately we live in a world where the winners write history. Is it really possible to prove something happened so far in the past? This question of the Holocaust is not the only debated topic in today’s world. Creationism, evolution, ideologies of the left and the right, religion and non-religion, and so on. For the character Deborah, she wants to have the survivors of the Holocaust tell their story and prove that it happened. The defense does not what to give David any opportunity to gain any kind of advantage. I can see where that was a smart move. I wonder if we humans will ever really stop arguing and fighting each other.
This film was ok. The cinematography is decent. The musical score is ok for what it is. This is not a layered movie at all. This film focuses on what happened to Deborah E. Lipstadt and what she had to go through in order to defend her self in court. I can see how this is a very sensitive subject matter for a film. As for the British actress, this is one of Rachel Weisz’s best performances. She really let herself get into the character completely. There are some interesting plot twists in this film. This is not a action movie by any means. For what the movie is, it does make you think. It does not matter how old the film is, this movie will make you think. The movie is a decent watch, more of a sociology film.
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