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Posted Sunday, November 30, 2008

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Sunday, November 30, 2008 David Irving at Chatham House

TV documentary allows David Irving to speak freely

On December 9, 2008: British TV Channel 4 will show the ninety-minute Rex Bloomstein film, An Independent Mind

The film was premiered on September 14, 2008 at the Curzon Cinema, Soho

The English Centre of International PEN reviewed the film approvingly:

THE final interview, and arguably the most controversial, was with the historian David Irving. While he still vehemently denies accusations of racism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, Irving conceded that he had voiced "doubts and scepticism" about Auschwitz during a speech he had given in Austria in 1989. He was arrested for attempting to reactivate the Nazi party and in trial admitted that he had denied that Nazi Germany had killed millions of Jews. In February 2006, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

While in no way condoning Irving's position on the Holocaust, English PEN deplored the court's decision. "It should not be a crime in a free society to publish opinion, however poorly dressed up as fact," PEN said in a statement. "It is more important than ever that democracies deal with contentious issues through debate and ridicule rather than through suppression by law."

Similarly, Irving contended that everyone should be given a voice, no matter how contentious their opinion. "I want to visit a free Germany where everyone is free to say what they want and that every opinion can be freely held up and exposed either to acclaim or ridicule," he said. "As soon as you start saying this opinion is acceptable and that option isn't acceptable then you are degrading society, and society is losing in the long run." While Bloomstein conceded that Irving "represents something immensely troubling" he was adamant that "we have to take these people on […] Irving makes us think about the limits."

Royal Society of Arts on 8 December 2008 at 6.30pm. An audience Q&A with BAFTA award-winning director, Rex Bloomstein, chaired by Jonathan Miller, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Channel 4 News, will follow. Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights, this unique film gives a voice to eight characters from around the world who have fought to exercise their right to free speech. Their stories include facing the threat of imprisonment for drawing a cartoon, being tortured for writing a poem and being forced into exile for singing a song. This bold and provocative film exposes that it is not just the developing world but also in Western democracies that abuses of freedom of expression are taking place.

If you are interested in attending, please email or contact Jennifer Chorley on 0207 306 5640.

See also: Charlie Beckett on An Independent Mind.


click for origin On October 1, 2008 Mr Irving wrote to film producer Rex Bloomstein: "Dear Rex, -- I watched the film three times on Sunday with friends, and we were all deeply impressed. Not only was the quality so good, but the lighting and background selection [the Library at Chatham House] were brilliant, and the topic was interestingly conveyed and researched. Even I was taken aback by the quality of my arguments! You really put me at my ease."

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