There certainly couldn’t be a more timely film than Denial, the story of a British libel trial brought on by a true demogogue and holocaust denier when he is accused of being just that in a book by American academic Deborah Lipstadt. As they explained when they appeared as part of Bleecker Street’s presentation at our big annual awards season event The Contenders Presented By Deadline, director Mick Jackson and producer Gary Foster said Denial, though it deals with events of 20 years ago, hits today’s fact-challenged society right between the eyes in tackling this issue and subsequent trial right on.
In front of a packed crowd of Oscar and key Guild voters at the DGA Theater, Foster says the film’s courtroom sequences were virtually word for word from transcripts of the trial, and that was the task handed to screenwriter David Hare. He also talks about how difficult it was to find an actor willing to take on the key role of the demogogue depicted here until Timothy Spall came their way. He and Jackson were also very grateful to be able to film part of the film on the actual Auschwitz location that is so important to the story. And they talk about the casting of Rachel Weisz and how closely involved she became with Lipstadt herself. To watch my conversation just click on the link above.