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The Believer (2001)

The Believer (film)

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With this being my first post of 2011, I thought I should start writing about the first film I watched entering into the New Year. The Believer, a deep yet one of the most controversial films in our time – but don’t let the term controversial put you off, because it’s quite easily one of the best films of the 21st century. The film is insightful and shows how even the most infamous political movements in the past, still exist in modern society today.
The film follows Daniel  Balint, A Neo-Nazi in his early 20’s whose only motive seems to be killing Jews and purely supporting Ant-Semitism. The film also explains to us that when he was in his youth he was Jewish. As the story develops we see flash backs to when he was younger and it is plain to see  he is actually a Jewish Nazi, a term I wasn’t familiar with before watching this film, because how can you be Jewish and a Nazi? Here is a simple explanation; his own ideas of what he believes has corrupted his learnings of the Jewish faith which has driven him to become a Neo Nazi. He has then convinced himself that he hates the Jews, how they live, eat, have sex, and even manage things financially. For him to be a true Neo Nazi to what he invented himself to be, he has to truly hate Jews, which he cannot, he still respects the readings of the Jewish faith and this gives him self conflict which leads to self-hatred and thus  becomes mentally in-stable, and that is what a Jewish Nazi is, an ironic term, because you can’t truly be a Nazi and a Jew and that is the running theme of the film.

What drives the film forward is the motives and the violence the Neo Nazi’s have, with no fear or respect towards the Jewish community. The Believer manages to give you historical context and knowledge of different faiths without boring you with details thanks to a brilliantly written script, along with running themes such as violence, romance and sadism; and it does this very well. Not once did I feel like turning the film off because it never slows down, it stays steady, and the actor who plays Daniel, Ryan Gosling plays each scene like he believes himself to actually be his own character. He is a thug, with deep emotional wounds, that can’t figure out his own beliefs.
I can understand why this film got favourable reviews, yet I can’t understand why it had the controversy mark tagged all over it. The film does not support Nazi’s whatsoever; if anything, it shows the evilness that Nazism represents, and with that, gives the audience an insight into how modern-day Nazis think today.

If you’re interested in Modern Nazis and religious faith, watch it. If you’re also interested in violence, gangs and a good deep storyline then you should definitely watch it. It is a well crafted film. It won’t let you down.

Rating score: 4.7/5

By Daniel Hart

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