I can die happy now. And you wouldn’t believe how it happened for me.
Last year, December: There I was, musing aloud to Sister that no way was Eddie Izzard ever gonna perform in Singapore. And as I wailed about this ‘truth’, she announced that he was. She had just checked her facebook feed and there it was. I literally screamed in delight. It was like the gods were playing a trick on me, and such things are why the word coincidence exists.
So yeah, (an Izzardism btw), he’s going to be here, and I’m still in some degree of pleasant shock.
Based on Deborah Lipstadt’s book, History on Trial: My Day in Court With a Holocaust Denier, Denial sticks pretty close to the facts – as it should. Holocaust deniers aren’t just ex-Iranian dictators but your regular white dudes with a wet dream for Aryan beauties (who happen to be Middle Eastern since we’re not here to entertain cliched untruths about races and cultures. And let’s not forget Europe isn’t even a continent, if we’re gonna be geographically accurate! So, white people, stop your fetishistic preoccupation with the word ‘Aryan‘. Start educating yourselves with real knowledge, not some conspiracy theories dug out of the arses of the likes of Alex Jones and Donald Trump’s favourite people.)
As I try to shed the memory of my most recent brush with television troll, Kellyanne Conway (who’s fucking name is a big giveaway and also, a bad pun) begging CNN not to ditch her on Jake Tapper’s show, I bring you Denial. It is the movie to watch as we come to terms with a world that is suddenly unapologetically fascist, and on mainstream media to boot!
Nazis and creatures of their ilk are loathsome, as you should know by now if you’ve read anything on the second world war, and remember we had to kill a ton of people before they went back to their dark little holes and stayed inside… Rachel Weisz plays the historian Deborah Lipstadt:
From the beginning, you know she’s a good one, a freaking terrier, unafraid, unencumbered by neo-Nazis trolling her before it became fashionable. And David Irving (Timothy Spall, in magnificent form) is one of the major creatures who decide to come out from under the fascist bridge to prod her into biting. She doesn’t budge, cos you know, facts… So he goes and sues Penguin Books and herself. She is represented by the very charming British solicitor Anthony Robert Julius (played by a very lovely Andrew Scott with his smooth and very lovely voice) who got Lady Diana divorced from Prince Charles, and barrister, nay, father-figure, Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson turning in another understated and effective performance – I would like to hug Tom Wilkinson at least once in my life). David Irving is denied access to Deborah and any Holocaust survivors since they are not on trial. That initial revelation hits Deborah hard, and she, understandably, protests. She is not afraid, and boy do we know this for the truth! She wants to testify against this racist pig, and she needs some time before she can accept her legal team’s strategy.
The strategy itself, explained to her by lovely Andrew Scott, is so obvious, but such a stroke of genius as well. The Holocaust happened. That’s not what the case is about. Instead, Irving denies it happened because he is a fascist bastard who bases his theories on carefully curated convenient lies. Prove that his motives are evil and anti-Semitic, prove that he doctored or falsified facts, cherry picking like crazy, and they win the case.
Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany, by the way. I think it should be the same rule everywhere on the planet.
It is exactly the same scenario we have with the Trump administration today. They keep spouting lies, lies and more lies to the public, and those lazy and gullible enough to swallow will swallow. Those hateful and incorrigible in their ways will become braver and justify their actions because people are still sputtering in disbelief, or too polite to engage with them and smack them down. We should be afraid of no one, especially half-educated people in the business of nonsense and hatred.
And to those clutching their pearls and wringing their hands over the violence and protests against neo-Nazis, remember this: if you are not enraged about fascism, you are not informed.