"Denial" is the true story of a Jewish woman who had to prove in court that the Holocaust had taken place, but it also has a timely message for present day society, according to director Mick Jackson.
"Denial," which premieres on SBS Australia on Friday 29 March 2019 (and is available afterwards at SBS On Demand), recounts how Deborah Lipstadt, a prominent historian, writer and professor, was sued for libel in Britain in 1996 by Holocaust denier David Irving after she called him a liar in one of her books.
The case was heard in a London court, where the burden of proof in libel cases lies with the defendant, and Lipstadt, played by Rachel Weisz, was called on to prove that the Holocaust actually happened.
Irving maintained that no Jews had been killed in gas chambers at Auschwitz, citing lack of evidence, and he belittled the claims of Holocaust survivors.
The events of 20 years ago continue to have relevance today, director Jackson told SBS podcast The Playlist at the time of the film's 2017 release. Though the film's development pre-dates the election of Donald Trump and the rise of the 'alt-right' around the world, the parallels are impossible to ignore.
"We realised that we had a really timely story here, about somebody (David Irving) who was populist, nationalist, alt-right, xenophobic, misogynistic, and all of the things one might uncharitably use to describe Donald Trump!"
Listen to Mick Jackson on The Playlist (interview from 10:34)
Watch 'Denial' on SBS
SBS Australia 8.30pm, Friday 29 March 2019
SBS On Demand after broadcast
United Kingdom, United States of America, 2017
Genre: Drama, History
Director: Mick Jackson
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall, Andrew Scott, Jack Lowden,
What's it about?
Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel.