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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.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Danny Balint
Peter Meadows ... Orthodox Student
... Billings
Kris Eivers ... Carleton
... O.L. (as Joel Garland)
... Curtis Zampf
... Lina Moebius
... Carla Moebius
Jack Drummond ... Old Coot
... Rav Zingesser
James McCaffrey ... Young Avi (as James G. McCaffrey)
Jacob Green ... Young Danny
Frank Winters ... Young Stuart
... Danny's Father
... 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

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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

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Release Date:

23 August 2001 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Danny Balint  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,236, 19 May 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$406,035, 29 September 2002
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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Due to the film's low budget, the crew could not afford permits and many scenes had to be shot quickly. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Mrs. Frankel: What do you think you would have done if you had been there?
Daniel Balint: Not what he did. Just stand there and watch?
Mrs. Frankel: How do you know? You've never been tested like he has. Here in this rich, safe, stupid country it is so easy to imagine oneself a hero. But, you have no idea what it was like. You can't conceive of it. Everything, all of Europe, was designed to break one's will. Millions went to camps many stronger, braver than you. They did nothing. Just as you would have done nothing.
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Connections

Featured in Anatomy of a Scene: The Believer (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ryan Gosling -- Superstar!
23 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

I think I first saw Mr. Gosling in Murder by Numbers, in which he played half of a modern-day Leopold and Loeb murder team. In that good-but-not-great thriller, he did a fine job with an easy role: the smarmy manipulator who's convinced his Intellect is so superior to everyone else's that he has the right -- no, the obligation -- to kill those inferior to himself.

In The Believer, Gosling plays the young fascist who really seems to believe the antisemitic vitrol he spews. His skinhead punk is just as scary, believable and *common* as Edward Norton's in American History X -- with the added layer of being from an Orthodox background. He has apparently convinced those around him that his fascination with all things Judaic is only an effort to "know his enemy thoroughly" -- nothing more.

Gosling is nothing short of astounding in this role. He richly deserves all the honors bestowed upon him. If he continues to only get roles like Murder by Numbers, it will be a waste of a wonderful natural resource, kind of like strip mining in Yellowstone.


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