Yesterday afternoon I went to see Denial
at the movies with Renee and Penina.
Could you prove the Holocaust happened? That’s the deceptively simple challenge facing Emory University professor and historian Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) in “Denial,” the excellent fact-based drama.
Back in 1993, Lipstadt inadvertently sews the seeds of that conundrum when she refers to Hitler scholar David Irving (Timothy Spall) as a Holocaust denier in her book about the Holocaust denial movement, accusations that prompt him and two aides to ambush her at an Atlanta reading in the film’s electric opening sequence.
Three years later, Irving sues Lipstadt and Penguin, her British publisher, for libel. Refuting his claim seems easy enough, but Britain's laws place the burden of proof on Lipstadt to show that the charge is true – a daunting task for which she hires solicitor Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott) and barrister Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson).
The defense team researches what it’s up against and plots its strategy, revealing much of their individual personalities in the process. The sudden shift from dull London offices to the immense power of Auschwitz is an especially masterful move and one whose intensity carries over to the taut courtroom scenes that dominate the film’s second half.
We found it an excellent movie, and in light of the frightening current political situation it packed an even harder punch than it might have if these were "normal" times. While looking for a shot of the movie poster (above), below is another one that popped up. Given the vile trash that has spewed out of Trump's mouth constantly during the campaign, and now seeing the people he is (sadly not surprisingly) choosing to help him "lead" the country, this is another example of the "new normal" - where racism and hate are brazenly out in the open and "accepted", and against which decent people will need to fight.
Last night Tom and I caught up on a number of Jeopardy programs that have been piling up on the DVR. Many of them were from the current on-going teen tournament, and these are undoubtedly bright, educated students; one girl has the memory skills to recite pi to over 500 (!) decimal places, while one boy described medical research that he was doing (and which Alex admitted he did not understand.) But it definitely made me cringe when during the mini-interview section many of them started their sentences with the grossly incorrect "me and my friends" did such and such.
Today I plan to start packing, and so I figured it would be a good idea to check the extended weather forecast for Maryland. The first few days shouldn't be too bad, with temps in the 60s (though once temps plummet below 70 I tend to get cold) but by the weekend there will be a run of days where the temps are not expected to rise above the low 40s. I see lots of sweatshirts in my future!
Later this morning will be my last workout at the gym for a couple of weeks, so I'm hoping to make it an especially good one to help 'tide me over'. During my trips back home we seem to be eating constantly (though I certainly am not complaining about all the good food!), and no doubt this visit will be no different.