[Marxism] Fwd: Denial: David Irving versus Deborah Lipstadt | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Nov 19 13:31:04 MST 2016

As I stated in my review of “Barry” on Counterpunch, this is the time I 
begin to receive those middle-brow films that Hollywood studios submit 
for consideration to members of New York Film Critics Online for our 
annual awards meeting in early December. Like “Barry”, “Denial” is just 
one of those films—a holocaust movie that is inevitably greeted as an 
object of reverence. It deals with the Deborah Lipstadt-David Irving 
trial that took place in England twenty years ago and that was now a 
blur in my mind even if I certainly understood that the film would 
depict holocaust denier David Irving as a villain. I also understood 
that he would get his comeuppance in the film just as happened in the 
actual trial.

My aversion to holocaust movies was like that of British playwright 
David Hare who once wrote:

	I have no taste for Holocaust movies. It seems both offensive and 
clumsy to add an extra layer of fiction to suffering which demands no 
gratuitous intervention. It jars. Faced with the immensity of what 
happened, sober reportage and direct testimony have nearly always been 
the most powerful approach.

As it happens, David Hare wrote the screenplay for “Denial”. As I will 
explain, his decision flowed from some very unusual aspects of the trial 
but before that I should give you some background. Since you are 
probably aware that Europe has some very stringent laws against 
holocaust denial, including a three-year prison term that Irving once 
received in Austria in 1992 (he was released after serving one year), 
you might assume that it was Irving who was on trial. However,  in this 
instance Lipstadt was the defendant. Irving was suing her and Penguin 
publishers for libel. Lipstadt’s 1993 “Denying the Holocaust: The 
Growing Assault on Truth and Memory” was a scorching rebuttal of Irving 
and other deniers, including Robert Faurisson who Noam Chomsky defended 
on a free speech basis.


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