Listen to Mick Jackson on The Playlist (interview starts at 10.32)
Denial, now showing in Australian cinemas, is an alarmingly relevant story of an historian whose libel trial in the '90s impacted the way the history of The Holocaust is told today.
In 1993 Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) published a book, “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory”, in which she called controversial author and WW2 writer David Irving (Timothy Spall) a liar and "a Holocaust denier". He sued her for libel and, under the peculiarities of the British legal system, her defence team had to prove that the Holocaust actually occurred in order to win her case.
The film is directed by Mick Jackson (LA Story, The Bodyguard), who joins Nick Bhasin and Fiona Williams on the latest episode of The Playlist.
As Fiona puts it, Denial is "timely in the worst way", and Jackson discusses the film's relevance to the current political climate. He notes the similarities between the propaganda techniques of Nazis (and contemporary Holocaust deniers), and the creation/perpetuation of "fake news" and Big Lies by advocates of the Trump Administration.
However, he is quick to say, "It was never meant to be so timely!"
"The producers picked up this story of David Irving - the alt-right historian - eight years ago, and thought there was a great story in his fight against a lone woman. And it was timely at that time - there was 'Birtherism', climate change and evolution, all kinds of things and the denying of them.
"It sort of crept up on us - it was in October of 2015 that I was having dinner with the real Deborah Lipstadt, and we both came the conclusion at the same time - it was very early in the Presidential campaign: "He's Donald Trump!" This man that we're portraying, David Irving, is doing everything that Donald Trump is doing!" He's portraying himself as a patriot, a man of the people, a truth sayer, appealing to everybody's basest fears and prejudices."
Jackson goes on to discuss the curious burden of truth that fell to Lipstadt's team, to prove the existence of the Holocaust in order to take on Irving. He describes the intense feelings of filming certain sections of the movie that deal with a research trip to Auschwitz, which were were actually filmed there.
Listen to Jackson's full interview above.
Watch the 'Denial' trailer
Denial is now in cinemas through eOne Australia.