The Believer (2001)


believer-front“Let me put it this way. Do we hate them because they push their way in where they don’t belong? Or do we hate them because they’re clannish and keep to themselves? Because they’re tight with money, or because they flash it around? Because they’re Bolsheviks, or because they’re capitalists? Because they have the highest IQs, or because they have the most active sex lives? Do you want to know the real reason we hate them? Because we hate them. Because they exist. Because it’s an axiom of nature that just as man longs for woman, loves his children, and fears death, he hates Jews. There’s no reason. If there were, some smartass kike would try to come up with an argument, try to prove us wrong. And of course that would only make us hate them more. In fact we have all the reasons we need in three simple letters: J-E-W. Jew.” – Daniel Balint

Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (16 Jul 2001 at the JFF with the Director present followed by a Q&A, DVD and 21 Apr 2015)

Brief Synopsis – When a reporter threatens to tell-all about a young neo-nazi, he begins to reassess his opinions and upbringing

My Take on it – This is the only movie that I’ve seen within the framework of a film festival.

In 2001, a friend invited me to a special screening at the Jerusalem Film Festival of this movie which included a Q & A with director Harry Bean immediately afterwards.

The experience was amazing and it’s unfortunate that I have not had this opportunity again since then.

Being Jewish, the themes of this movie really connect with me and despite some very difficult scenes to watch, I always like to view this movie.

The storyline is very powerful and the lead performance by Ryan Gosling (one of his first) is unbelievable.

I recall that Bean predicted great things from him and he really has shown us how great an actor he is in his films since this one.

Yes, there are many inaccuracies about my faith, but they can easily be overlooked because this is made so well.

It always leaves such a powerful impact on me.

Bottom Line – Excellent movie with amazing performances by all. A very young Gosling shows his potential. Very impactful theme that leaves a lasting impression for a long time afterwards. Highly recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – 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. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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5 thoughts on “The Believer (2001)

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