The Believer

Directed by Henry Bean

This highly controversial directing début earned the Grand Jury Prize for drama at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. Written and directed by the Jewish screenwriter of INTERNAL AFFAIRS, THE BELIEVER is inspired by the 1965 New York Times exposé of a Jewish Ku Klux Klan member. From an early age at the yeshiva (Jewish religious school) Danny spots contradictions and seeks answers. As he grows older Danny becomes ever more conflicted, growing to despise the religion he’d previously embraced. He reacts with the utmost hatred, joining a neo-Nazi group where he impresses with his focused anti-Semitic invective. No one in the group knows that Danny is Jewish except his girlfriend. By day he plans synagogue bombings; by night he teaches his girlfriend, Carla, Hebrew. Until one destructive expedition brings him face to face with his deepest beliefs. Centred upon a ferocious performance from young Gosling, THE BELIEVER uses flashes of dark humour in an accomplished script to create an intelligent, challenging exploration of love, hate and identity.”The most potent and provocative film of the year… a fireball of contradictory ideas that will pin you to your seat.” Rolling Stone (U.S.)”In the manner of its mouthy antihero, who loves and hates the doctrine that gives him his fierce intellect, I was arguing with the film for days.” Ella Taylor, LA Weekly

100 minutes

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