A Cypto-jew and the Nazi underground movment “The Believer”


thebeliever_lRyan Gosling stars as Danny Balint, a Nazi youth whose influential way with words and speeches has earned him high regard amongst the underground movements in New York City. He has the ability to attract the right kind of attention to get where he wants to go; if Hitler had a reincarnation, this just might be it. But something else is troubling Danny, something rather unexpected: he himself happens to be of Jewish heritage. We see it not so much in words as we do in actions: during the breaking and entering into a synagogue by his neo-Nazi group, he is hesitant to destroy. When the time comes for him to prove himself by taking the life of a Jew, he backs down. Upon meeting Carla (Summer Phoenix), the daughter of a Fascist group leader (Theresa Russell), he does not try to dissuade her from learning the Hebrew language in order to read the Talmud.

somewhere near the end of the movie Danny is asked by his yeshiva childhood friends after stating their present occupations (Rabbi, Hebrew teacher, etc.) “What about you? What are you doing? Something strange, l bet. Uh,… No, it’s kind of an underground thing. Like an artist? No.Uh, like a private business.” indicating in my opinion that he was following the natural cores of his Talmudic teachings he received as a child. Even the scene opens with a Rabbi saying the line “The TaImud teaches us…”

download and watch here or here

2002
Filmcritic.com

Religious doubt leads to violence in this slice-of-lifer that won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival — now finally making tentative steps in general release.

Jewish self-hatred is an interesting foundation for a film, if only because it’s a subject never explored by an industry still apologizing for the Holocaust. The lengths to which someone will go to redefine and prove themselves a member of the enemy circle are certainly compelling. But when the main character in question dives between extremes without a single clear definition of his motives, the strength of the narrative suffers. A double life can only work when you are aware of some of the triggers that push some semblance of reality into the character in question.

Danny’s (Ryan Gosling) Jewish schooling has apparently left him with so many doubts, that the only cure for his intellectual suffering is the impenetrable wish to kill them all. Jews run and own everything anyway, so this will be a popular new sport to reset society, right? Finish what Hitler started!

Danny is encouraged along this bastardly streak by a Fascist circle he easily, miraculously even, finds on the Internet, headed by Curtis (Billy Zane, Titanic) and Lina (Theresa Russell, Black Widow). These two folks don’t have the passionate quality that Danny has when he speaks, even though they have the intellectual capacity to back themselves in a fight, which Danny can’t. With each prank Danny pulls, they edge him towards public speaking for fundraising, while their daughter Carla (Summer Phoenix) finds ways to uncover Danny’s Judaism and sleep with him.

Danny’s brutality is acceptable because that is how we first see him. His mindset is a little hard to swallow, because an intelligent 26-year old could definitely find better pursuits, even when approaching his internal boiling point. His struggle as he is received farther into the Nazi underworld is nicely portrayed with poignant undertones. Danny’s internal battle is compulsively watchable once these theorems are digested, like taking a geometry course.

The problem becomes why he all of the sudden feels an affinity for his previous life, seemingly just by looking at Torah scrolls. It’s one thing to fake missing a gunshot because actually killing another person takes more mental preparation than you bargained for. It’s another to begin vandalizing a synagogue, only to stop in the middle of it because the Torah has been uncovered. These quick changes of behavioral pattern are rampant throughout the film, and hurt the overall quality of pain Danny is experiencing.

And, unfortunately, due to stodgy, soap opera-ish dialogue, the rest of the cast comes across as stick figures reading lines from a TelePrompTer. For all of the assumptive commentary spoken by Danny’s elders and leaders, not one of them holds an emotional link to their words that makes them believable. Maybe this is supposed to complement Danny’s rapid mood swings, but instead leaves each scene boringly predictable in terms of interaction and outcome.

The Believer is a good idea at its base. If Danny’s journey between despising and affirming his background had been better plotted, it could even be used to discuss religious questioning with those institutions that are always complaining about the apathy of the young, no matter what the denomination.

The above article can be found at: The-Believer

Transcript of the mentioned excerpt above: The TaImud teaches us… – May we peeI oranges on Shabbos? – Yes, but… ..peeI them immediateIy. – If you see a… – Is it permitted… – (many voices overIap) – Danny? Danny? – (voices continue) – Danny! Hey! Stuart. Schoenbaum. Shlomo. – Shlomo. – Danny. God! God, it’s… it’s been years. – How you doin’? How are you doin’? – l’m doing great. l’m at the rabbinic program up at JTS. JTS. What about you? What are you doing? Something strange, l bet. Uh,… No, it’s kind of an underground thing. Like an artist? No. Uh, like a private business. Hey. You remember Miriam? Yeah. Hey. Hey. She’s at Yale Law now, interning for the District Attorney. We’re getting married next spring in Jerusalem. That’s great. Maybe Danny’d like to come to the minyan for Rosh Hashanah. That’s a great idea. We’re davening with a group from the seminary. Guess who comes? Avi! You two can go at it like you used to. Danny and Avi used to argue about everything. Talmud, Torah, politics,… – ..girls. Always ended in a fist-fight. – l remember. l always won. The arguments, anyway.

The Believer script-transcript

download and watch here or here

A Cypto-jew and the Nazi underground movment “The Believer”

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3 Responses to “A Cypto-jew and the Nazi underground movment “The Believer””

  1. themadjewess Says:

    I have this movie. the ending, although sad- is very profound. :)

  2. themadjewess Says:

    Have you read the Talmud, out of curiousity?? I mean besides the verses that people USE against the Jewish people??
    Like:
    Never expose yourself unnecessarily to danger; a miracle may not save you…and if it does, it will be deducted from your share of luck or merit.

    Man has three friends on whose company he relies. First, wealth – which goes with him only while good fortune lasts. Second, his relatives – they go only as far as the grave and leave him there. The third friend, his good deeds, go with him beyond the grave.

    Life is so short we must move very slowly.

    He who adds not to his learning diminishes it.

    For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned it is the season of the harvest.

    Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, grow.’

    Who is a wise man? He who learns of all men.

    He who carries out one good deed acquires one advocate in his own behalf, and he who commits one transgression acquires one accuser against himself. Repentance and good works are like a shield against calamity.

    He who adds not to his learning diminishes it.

    He whose wisdom exceeds his works, to what may he be likened? To a tree whose branches are numerous but whose roots are few. The wind comes along and uproots it and sweeps it down.

    OR:
    “You can bring a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink”

    Just wondering.

  3. Have you? and I mean all of it, not just those quotes you posted and others like it. MISHNA and GEMARA. both the Palestinian Gemara, and the Babylonian Gemara, generally accepted as the authoritative source of law (instead of the book of God, the Torah, that should have been the authoritative source of everything). which the Qaraim reject and regard as Blasphemy of the word of YHWH The T”NK (Torah, Navim, and Ketuvim) to them is the sole word of the Creator. I do not care how much the Talmud eludes to good, it is a racist doctrine which contradicts God’s word and contains too much evil and tolerance thereof, the depiction of the Prophets alone is enough for me. This is not just based on the individual quotes of various revered rabbis, but The Encyclopaedia Judaica, as well as the late Prof. Israel Shahak please read his three books “Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel” by Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky and “Jewish History, Jewish Religion The Weight of Three Thousand Years” and “Open Secrets”

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