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Based on a true story about a professor at Emory College (played by Rachel Weisz) who was sued by David Irving (somewhere around 1996-1997, I think), a holocaust denier (played by Timothy Spall). Since he brought the suit in England, the burden of the proof rested with the professor in that she had to show that she was right in calling him a Holocaust denier, essentially, that he was willfully lying when he denied that the Holocaust happened. I really appreciated many things about the film. The acting by all, particularly Wilkinson (who played her legal counsel), Spall, and Weisz, was excellent; there was a lot of typical wry British humor throughout to keep it from getting too heavy; and it is a pretty interesting courtroom drama, particularly in that it showcased the examination and cross-examination more that the charisma of the participants. The film is also an excellent story about facts and the intersection of facts, opinions, and free speech – something that has a lot of relevance to what is happening today. Big thumbs up from me for a film that I think could have been much more powerful but, as it is, tells a really good and important story.

About Gary Burkholder

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