Tag Archive: David Hare


The power games of Denial

DENIAL directed by Mick Jackson (UK/USA, 2016)

denial1It is something of a paradox that in our fact check dominated world, liars and cheats continue to flourish.

A quick Google search will expose the most blatant of falsehoods but, as the campaigns of Brexit and Trump have proven, you can win votes simply by repeating lies ad infinitum.

Holocaust denier and credited British historian David Irving was and is a pants on fire specialist but he has never wavered from his position as a Hitler apologist. This film gives a clue as to what motivates him and how he is a potent (and pungent) example of someone who redefines the ‘truth’ to justify his own ends.

The movie is adapted from David Hare’s stage play which was in turn based on Deborah E. Lipstadt’s book ‘History On Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier’.

At its centre is the Irving vs Penguin Books Ltd trial which took place in 2000 at the High Court of Justice in London and gave judgement on Irving’s claim that Lipstadt had made libellous statements against him in her 1993 book ‘Denying The Holocaust’. Continue reading

Snogging Uma Thurman is obviously an obsessively enjoyable pastime  but David Hare’s theatre piece turned TV drama My Zinc Bed has other cravings in mind.

Alcohol dependency is the main one, with an addictive need to wield power and control coming a close second.

The two Brits who get to snog Uma (Elsa)  are Jonathan Pryce (Victor) and Paddy Considine (Paul).

Pryce  is legally entitled, being her husband while Paddy is a poet on the make.

The journey from stage to screen is never an easy one, especially when the cast is small and the focus is on ideas rather than action. Dialogues and situations that audiences are more inclined to accept in the theatre often look and sound implausible on film. This is the downfall of this drama.

The title refers to a zinc-lined coffin so you know straightaway that a feel good ending is not on the cards.

It’s quite a turgid and humourless piece on the whole although it does contain food for thought on the nature of obsession. as when Victor  argues that if you cure yourself of addiction , an unwanted side effect is that you cure yourself of desire.

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