In upcoming film, Rachel Weisz plays historian who took on British Holocaust denier

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by tgregory

Rachel Weisz plays a real life professor who took on a Holocaust denier in the upcoming film “Denial.”

(JTA) – With the Holocaust’s memory lately being abused by the “alt-right” in the United States and by far-right politicians in eastern Europe, the world could use a spirited defense of the historical account.

Enter Hollywood.

The upcoming film “Denial” dramatizes American Jewish historian Deborah Lipstadt’s real-life legal battle in the 1990s with prominent Holocaust denier, British historian David Irving. The lead is played by British Jewish actress Rachel Weisz.

While the film doesn’t come out until Sept. 30, as of Wednesday, you can watch a trailer online. British playwright David Hare adapted Lipstadt’s book “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier” for the screenplay. The book and film recount how Irving sued Lipstadt for libel in England for calling him a “Holocaust denier.” Because English libel law puts the burden of proof on the defendant, Lipstadt essentially had to prove that the Holocaust happened to win the case.

Mick Jackson directed the film. Timothy Spall co-stars as Irving.

Lipstadt is now the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. •