"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 »
A copy of The New York Times is shown with an article about Danny. However, the article is not printed in the font the Times uses. See more »
I'm the only one who does believe. I see him for the power-drunk madman he is. And we're supposed to worship such a deity? I say never.
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Danny Balint (Ryan Gosling) is angry. He questions his Jewish heritage and challenges his faith. The movie starts with him bullying a Jewish boy on the subway in New York. He joins a small group of fascists led by Curtis Zampf (Billy Zane) and Lina Moebius (Theresa Russell). Danny pushes for the group to start killing Jews. Carla Moebius (Summer Phoenix) finds him fascinating. Curtis doesn't want to go down that road again while Lina finds it appealing for their cause even if she doesn't believe in it. Reporter Guy Danielsen is writing about the right wing movement. Danny joins up with others as his star rises in the movement.
This is a character study of anger and self-hatred. Ryan Gosling is brilliantly unbalanced as he challenges religious authority. He's also superficially very convincing in his insane rants. More than anything, he's very charismatic. It is a bone chilling performance.
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