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The Believer (2001)

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

Director:

Henry Bean

Writers:

Henry Bean (screenplay), Henry Bean (story) | 1 more credit »
6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Gosling ... Danny Balint
Peter Meadows Peter Meadows ... Orthodox Student
Garret Dillahunt ... Billings
Kris Eivers Kris Eivers ... Carleton
Joel Marsh Garland ... O.L. (as Joel Garland)
Billy Zane ... Curtis Zampf
Theresa Russell ... Lina Moebius
Summer Phoenix ... Carla Moebius
Jack Drummond Jack Drummond ... Old Coot
Sig Libowitz ... Rav Zingesser
James McCaffrey James McCaffrey ... Young Avi (as James G. McCaffrey)
Jacob Green Jacob Green ... Young Danny
Frank Winters Frank Winters ... Young Stuart
Ronald Guttman ... Danny's Father
Heather Goldenhersh ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

23 August 2001 (Russia) See more »

Also Known As:

Danny Balint See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,263, 19 May 2002

Gross USA:

$416,925

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,309,316
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Directorial debut of Henry Bean. 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: 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]
Ancient Jew: 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]
Ancient Jew: It is you who are putzes. Little pishas with your dreams of hatred and killing...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Conversation with... Director Henry Bean (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Powerful but not exploitative
14 November 2001 | by drosse67See all my reviews

When I read a description of this film, I thought it would go overboard in the violence and "shock sequences." I was relieved and impressed that it left most of the violence to the imagination. The shock value comes from other places--the content, the dialogue. This is a very thought-provoking and smart movie, not at all preachy (and it easily could have been preachy). The acting is unforced and its story does not fall into the "American History X" trap: Its main character does not become an "all race loving" good guy. The protagonist in "The Believer" is a tortured soul, and his fate (although somewhat predictable) is fitting after the events in the film. This movie is another example that cable movies occasionally surpass theatrical movies in their subject matter and execution. Very well done.


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