Believer, The (UK)
One man`s descent into a world of violence
Running Time: 98 mins
Retail Price: £19.99
Content Type: Movie
Danny Balint (Ryan Gosling, in an acclaimed performance) is a young Jewish man. Living in the world`s most cosmopolitan city by night he studies his religion`s scriptures and teaches Hebrew. But by day an entirely different personality manifests itself. Danny has become magnetised by a force which stands in direct contradiction to his heritage: neo-fascism. Based on real events, this compelling psychological saga from writer and director Henry Bean charts one man`s descent into a world of violence.
But this is not just the violence which explodes on the streets or which comes from the extremist meetings at the home of the svengali-like cultist, Lina Moebius (Theresa Russell). The Believer is about the inner violence and struggle in the mind of a man who still cannot escape his true Jewish identity. Danny`s battle to reconcile the two warring sides of his character leads him to the very borders of sanity, and on to the path of self-destruction...
Director of Photography:
Kimberly N. Fajen
Your Opinions and Comments
The acting is superb, with the little-known Ryan Gosling taking on a complex and difficult role with ease. But the real plaudits belong to Bean`s script, which trawls through philosophical questions about the nature of binary oppositions - good and evil, love and hate, Semitic and anti-Semitic - without once losing its dynamic momentum.
Reportedly, director Henry Bean was in New York when the planes struck the World Trade Centre, and his stunned reactions lead to second thoughts about the subtle irony of this film, which ends with the stark tragedy of a suicide bombing. Despite delays and anxieties about how audiences may receive its message, The Believer is nonetheless a fascinating portrait of one man`s acute self-loathing, a racial shame that generates brutal aggression, and of a troubled soul achieving self-destruction. It`s a gripping thriller, a study of an extremist character and, a very fine debut for this screenwriter turned director.
IN SHORT: It`s amazing that a story so packed with hate can be such a compelling sit.