In 1993, university professor Deborah E. Lipstadt published the book ‘Denying the Holocaust’, in which she named British historian David Irving a holocaust denier. Irving accused Lipstadt of libel, sparking a legal battle in which Lipstadt and her legal team were forced to prove that the Holocaust did, in fact, occur.
Armed with this intriguing real-life story, director Mick Jackson made “Denial”, a courtroom drama which unfortunately lacks the ‘drama’. It was particularly disappointing to leave the cinema feeling unmoved by this film as Jackson had at his disposal a fascinating real-life story which could have been made into a film that was both moving and didactic.
While the performances are all solid and the film is shot nicely enough, there is nothing exceptional about this movie. The story is presented in a very linear fashion, with Jackson jumping from significant-event to significant-event without much substance in between. By the time the judge reads his verdict and the film reaches its big climax, the moment simply doesn’t pack the punch that it should.