Attacking the Devil: Harold Evans and the Last Nazi War Crime
Time Out says
A shocking documentary exploring the campaign to compensate the victims of thalidomide misuse in the 1950s
This arresting doc recalls the veteran British newspaper editor’s campaign to win compensation for the victims of thalidomide – the morning-sickness drug responsible for stillbirths and babies born with severe disabilities in the late 1950s and early ’60s. As editor of the Northern Echo and then the Sunday Times in the ’60s and ’70s, Evans – with his Insight team of reporters – took up the case against Distillers, the UK manufacturer of the drug, refusing to drop it even when the legal establishment threatened to throw the book at them.
This is partly a nostalgic reminder of the power of old-school, shoe-leather journalism (and so a neat companion piece to ‘Spotlight’, which opens next week); partly a portrait of Evans himself, still working; and partly a rousing, infuriating case study in corporate irresponsibility. It’s not entirely successful in tracing the drug’s history back to Nazi Germany, but it is a fitting tribute to the victims and their supporters.