Canadian Reviews

The Believer Review


 

Inspired by real events, a tale about evolution and contradiction which tells the story of Danny Balint, who transformed himself from a Jewish religious student to a venerated principal in the Neo-Fascist political movement. Danny is an intense young man whose fierce intelligence and inexhaustible curiosity once made him a star pupil at his local Yeshiva. Now, at age 22, he focuses this intensity on more sinister aims, transforming himself from a religious student to a rising star in local neo-fascist circles, Danny spends his days attacking synagogues and fomenting hate among a devoted band of followers. In a series of twists and turns, Danny exhibits all the passion of the converted as he browses militia-movement web sites, utters hate-filled but articulate discourses on Judaism and its teachings, and promotes its ultimate destruction. At a neo-fascist organizing meeting at the home of Lina Moebius, Danny impresses people with his articulate violence, especially Lina's bright and complicated daughter, Carla, who is more interested in Danny's mind and passion then in her mother's politics. When his own suppressed identity seems likely to be revealed, he flees to a upstate training enclave, further galvanizing his desire to act out the vicious vilification subscribed to by him and his compatriots. But as events ensue and striking contradictions multiply, something in Danny's soul prompts a complex and incredible journey in which he is drawn back to Judaism.

 

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 Gosling in this role is very convincing, and the whole movie is very thought provoking. One does not have to be Jewish to sympathize with the main character's struggle to fight his roots and heritage with extreme measures. This is a must see for all types, but especially those who are extremist, not in the neo-fascist sense, but in one's personality. 

  

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Added: February 22nd 2006
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