There are few subjects as hot to the touch as the Holocaust, nor any more incendiary than Holocaust denial, so it’s hard to imagine why a film maker would even venture there.Yet director Mick Jackson has in his latest film, Denial. It’s the true story of a legal battle between notorious academic and Holocaust denier, David Irving and Jewish historian, Deborah Lipstadt.
The wariness is palpable and understandably so, but that makes for a very emotionally and even philosophically constrained film. It doesn’t have the robust exploration of ideas that many court room dramas do, nor does it delve deeply into the human psyche – it’s barely even sentimental. All this is completely understandable, given the potential to open a can of worms, but it does make the script feel shackled.
However, in spite of that, the performances are all outstanding, and there are some very moving scenes. It’s unfortunately, a film that is relevant in the current social climate, and it makes a significant statement in its title alone.
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich