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The Believer (2001)

 -  Drama  -  23 August 2001 (Russia)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 25,632 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 152 user | 83 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

A young Jewish man develops a fiercely anti-Semitic worldview. Based on the true story of a KKK member in the 1960s who was revealed to be Jewish by a New York Times reporter.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Peter Meadows ...
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Lina Moebius
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Jack Drummond ...
Old Coot
Sig Libowitz ...
Rav Zingesser
James McCaffrey ...
Young Avi (as James G. McCaffrey)
Jacob Green ...
Frank Winters ...
Young Stuart
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Danny's Father
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Linda
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Storyline

"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 Joe Bloggs

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 August 2001 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Danny Balint  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,236 (USA) (17 May 2002)

Gross:

$406,035 (USA) (27 September 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspired by the story of Dan Burros, an American Jew, who joined (and left) the American Nazi Party, and then joined the United Klans of America (KKK). Burros killed himself when a journalist revealed his heritage in The New York Times. See more »

Goofs

In the DVD version, the words "a decade" are silent in the phrase "The Thousand-Year Reich barely lasted a decade..." even though Zampf is still mouthing it. See more »

Quotes

Daniel Balint: You print that in the New York Times, Guy, and I'm gonna kill myself.
See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
God said to Abraham:kill me a son!
24 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

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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