Friday, October 07, 2016

Who will play you in your biopic?

Actor left, historian right
In the newly released movie Denial, American historian Deborah Lipstadt gets Rachel Weisz playing her.

Denial dramatises the 2000 libel trial in London, England, in which Holocaust denier David Irving sued Lipstadt for libel over statements about him in her book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. David Irving lost, and Lipstadt, vindicated, wrote a second book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier. This second book is the source material for the courtroom drama now in wide release.

In a Washington Post interview, Lipstadt acknowledges that one theme of the film is the frustration of a historian having to work with lawyers. (She does not say filmmakers):
I’m an academic. I decide what I want to teach. I decide what I’m going to write about. I work by myself in my study. The movie is very accurate in its depiction of my frustration.
Reviews of Denial seem to be kinda ho-hum.  Historians, right? Or maybe the book was better.

Follow @CmedMoore