The Music of Denial

Oct. 10, 2016
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Although denying reality is nothing new, denial has become an acute problem in a society where people live inside socially networked media bubbles guarded by tall firewalls of falsehood. The infamous and—yes—deplorable Matt Drudge recently cast doubt on the forecast for Hurricane Matthew, calling it part of a vast left-wing conspiracy to promote fear over climate change. Right, and the Apollo 11 landing was directed by Stanley Kubrick.

But before moon landings and climate change came the Holocaust. The soon-to-be-widely released film Denial dramatizes a particularly notorious case of Holocaust denial, a British court battle over evidence and truth. British author David Irving, a historian whose credibility had diminished over the years through work that soft pedaled the atrocities of Nazism, brought charges of libel against American historian Deborah Lipstadt (played by Rachel Weisz), who had taken his Holocaust denial to task.  

Lipstadt has been on a speaking tour, Denial is out in some cities and the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack has been released. The suitably dramatic, tense, even rueful orchestral music was composed by Howard Shore, winner of multiple Grammys, Oscars and Golden Globes, and probably most familiar for his scores for the Lord of the Rings movies.

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