A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
"The Believer" explores a Jewish student's private journey to understand the meaning of Judaism in his life. Set in New York City, the Plot follows a morally confused young adult struggling with the conflict between his beliefs and his heritage. "The Believer" examines themes of religion, family, and self-loathing. It is a psychological examination into the forces of intolerance, both on the individual and society as a whole. Written by
Critically acclaimed, grand-jury prize winner at Sundance Festival in January 2001, then appeared on Showtime pay-cable in March 2002, before finally being released theatrically in NYC, May 2002. See more »
In the final synagogue segment, while the congregation is singing "Aveenu Malchenu," they keep changing keys from shot to shot, up a half-step and down a half-step and back up again again, indicating a string of takes edited together. See more »
Billings, if Hitler didn't kill six million, why is he your hero?... Concentration camps all over Europe, and he only gets rid of a measly two hundred thousand... He's a putz.
[Some surprise that a Nazi is arguing against a denier]
Hitler was not a putz. Hitler was real. God created him to punish the Jews for abandoning God.
[the other survivors are embarrassed by this, but the Ancient Jew ignores them]
It is you who are putzes. Little pishas with your dreams of hatred and killing...
[...] See more »
Antisemitism has come a long way since "gentleman's agreement"(1947).Kazan's attempt seems rather timid and tame today."The believer " sets the record straight.It's one of the most convincing works in the field.
It's all the more disturbing as the hero is a Jew joining the neonazis.And his behavior stems from his own education,his rebellion against the Torah:Abraham did really kill his own son,the Jew was made to comply with God's commandments;the hero finds similarities between the Nazis's and the Jews's beliefs ;both are the Chosen ones .What puzzles me is the fact that he wants to annihilate the Jews ,but he stills reads (and respects) the Bible(One shall not be naked in front of it for flesh is impure).
His arguments are sometimes disquieting (hints at Marx,Freud and Einstein) but finally it boils down to "we hate the Jews because we have to".
Danny is definitely a complex character,caught in a web of contradictions.One of the strongest scenes shows former victims of the Nazis during WW2;it's of course with them that we side ,and whatever Danny says about how he despises their passivity ,his protected life makes him incapable of true grit.
Spoilers Danny's final sacrifice is revealing:if God's wrath had killed him as pharaoh's tribe drowned in the tide (eg if he had accidentally been killed during one of his terrorisma acts or sentenced to death by a human court),the movie would have been a religious one (God's victory on evil).Danny chose the other way out.They will be speaking for a long time of the final sequence :it resembles an atheist version of that of "Jacob's ladder".The stairs and the teacher's sentence have something of Borges.End of spoilers.
To say that "the believer" is unique is to state the obvious.Even more intriguing,the most celebrated names (Theresa Russel and Billy Zane) are only supporting actors.At a time when graveyards are often profaned,when the far right wing's bad moon is on the rise almost everywhere ,this kind of film has become a necessity.Henry Bean is a very clever director and I hope to see more of his films in the future.
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