I’m gonna get into some semantics before I start talking about Mike Jackson’s new drama, Denial.
I know water isn’t wet, it’s what makes things wet, but it’s a classic saying so just go with it.
Ok now to Denial.
This is the story about Deborah Lipstadt, a historian who dedicated her career to shining a light on the hoax that is holocaust denialism.
The denier in her sites; David Irving.
After publishing that Irving is in fact a denier and manipulated truths to suit his anti-Semitic agenda, he takes Lipstadt to court to sue her and her publishing company for libel.
In order to win her case, Deborah and her team of lawyers must prove that the holocaust did in fact happen, and that Auschwitz was one of the main venues in which it took place.
Not only that, but also that Irving knowingly falsified facts in order to present his own argument as the truth.
Denial is incredibly frustrating and aggravating.
Here in 2017, we know with a decent amount of certainty that the holocaust happened. Even in 1994 when Denial is first set, we were certain.
The denying camp is based on Hitler apologism and distrust for the Jewish community; even the ones who survived.
They say the Jewish people made it all up in order to bolster compensation for their experiences in the work camps.
And because of this and the blatant disregard for the truth, I just found myself getting angrier and sadder as the film progressed.
This really was like shouting at a brick wall, and no matter how much I wanted to reach through the camera and slap Timothy Spall (David Irving), I knew the attendants would have thrown me out for getting my hands on the screen.
The movie takes us through Auschwitz, giving us a look at what remains of the gas chambers.
This really brings home the emotional battle behind Deborah’s defence, and that she isn’t just fighting for herself but she’s fighting for the respect survivors of the holocaust deserve.
I was amazed at how much of an impact Denial had on me, and it was strange to notice just how invested I was in the story.
And after all this set-up, all the anger and frustration that comes with this film, it was nothing compared to the satisfaction when truth and reason won out.
Despite knowing the end result before seeing the film – really this case is historical fact by now – after letting myself get sucked in like I did, the wave of relief which washed over me made this one hell of a powerful movie.
It’s amazing that people like David Irving exist, and continue to reject that the holocaust happened.
The film touches on freedom of speech, and addresses arguments that Irving should be able to publish what he wants.
But when what you’re saying with your freedom of speech is grossly misinformed and built on blatant lies, it’s everyone else’s right to free speech which allows them to call you out on your bullshit.