The Human Stain

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(2003) ★★★

ITV3: Sunday 30 August, 11.35pm

Anthony Hopkins in the tricky life and bitter downfall of Coleman Silk, the first Jew to be appointed faculty dean at a prestigious Massachusetts college. As America sniggers over Bill Clinton’s presidential indescretions in 1998, an astounding act of ‘political correctness’ sees Silk forced to resign for referring to two absentee students as ‘spooks’. “I was referring to their ectoplasmic character,” he patiently explains. “How would I know they were black? They were invisible.” His beloved wife dies the same day. But there will be other people coming into his life – reclusive writer Gary Sinise, post office clerk Nicole Kidman, plainly ‘postal’ Ed Harris. Based on Philip Roth’s novel, this difficult, prickly drama surmounts some crass symbolism with some very classy acting. As for Silk’s deep, dark secret, it’s as outrageous as his censure by a sanctimonious community. “An oxymoron if ever I heard one,” says Silk of political correctness. Amen to that.

Certificate: 18

Duration: 115min

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Other Showings Time & Date
ITV3 Saturday, 5 September at 12:25AM