Denial (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Biography, Drama
Director: Mick Jackson
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 105 minutes

Denial (DVD) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Acting performances
Bad: Story might be a bit too straightforward
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(2 votes)
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Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

While Deborah Lipstadt, an American professor of Holocaust studies, is giving a lecture, all of a sudden one man in the audience stands up, and starts asking her questions about her latest book ‘Denying the Holocaust’. The atmosphere soon becomes hostile, when his questions turn more aggressive, asking her where she got her information, and why it is that she calls David Irving a Holocaust denier. She plainly replies to him that Irving twists the facts to make them fit into his own truth, which is why she won’t even waste her time debating the subject with him. The man asking her all these questions turns out to be David Irving himself, unfortunately, and he files a libel lawsuit against her. It’s the beginning of a long journey, in which, in a way, the Holocaust itself is on trial.


The battle will be fought in a British court, and thus professor Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) is surrounded by a full legal team, with solicitor Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott) and barrister Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson) in the lead. They will have to prove that what the professor wrote about David Irving (Timothy Spall) is true, or in any case, no defamation.

In preparation of their defense, they travel to Auschwitz, to see for themselves the evidence that remains. While the professor realizes that the legal team probably know very well what they are doing, they simply go a bridge too far when they tell her that it’s best if she were not too involved in the case, meaning that they will handle everything in court, without giving her a chance to speak. The voice of the Holocaust needs to be heard, she’s convinced, and how is that possible in a fusty court room, without eye witnesses to take the stand? Despite what she believes, and what the whole world wants to believe, no judge will decide whether or not the Holocaust ever happened though. The real question is whether or not the professor was right in calling David Irving the Holocaust denier everybody knows he is.


The story of this film is one that doesn’t leave anyone untouched, be it because of the horror they know the Holocaust must have been, or because of the fact that this trial actually took place in real life. The way Deborah’s legal team prepared the case is captured very nicely. It’s easily understandable for everyone, which is a good thing, but might also be cause for some criticism, as it probably portrays the story a bit more simplistic than it was in real life. Nonetheless, we found that to be a strength as well as a weakness, as viewers who don’t have much background surrounding the Holocaust and this case in specific, will still get a clear view of what it was about, what was actually on trial, and how the case was prepared, all while the human aspect of this in se legal matter isn’t left out either.

Rachel Weisz is simply magnificent in her role as Deborah Lipstadt. She shows a character who wants to fight for what is right, for people’s story to be heard, for justice to be done for history. She definitely proved that she’s worthy of her title of Academy Award Winner. Tom Wilkinson is a seasoned actor, who has proven so many times before what he is capable of. He doesn’t disappoint now either, just like Timothy Spall.


A making of is the only extra that is included in this DVD release. It’s not much, but it’ll give you a little bit of an idea as to how the film came to be, and who the people are on which the characters are based. We didn’t really mind there being only one extra, as this kind of film just doesn’t need much more, it stands well on its own.


Denial is a film that will definitely touch many people who watch it. The story is explained very clearly, which allows the film to keep being interesting for the entire duration, even though it might portray certain things a bit too simplistic because of that. The lead actors are just marvelous, and really add a lot to the characters. Keeping in mind that the storyline in this film has actually happened in real life, it’s all the more important that the story is heard, and that the Holocaust will never be forgotten, let alone denied.

Denial 1

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Denial (DVD) - Movie Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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