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The Believer is a 2001 film written by Henry Bean and Mark Jacobson, and directed by Bean. It stars Ryan Gosling as Daniel Balint, an Orthodox Jew who becomes a Neo-Nazi.[1] It won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.

The film is loosely based on the true story of Dan Burros, a Ku Klux Klan member in the 1960s who committed suicide after being exposed by a New York Times reporter to be Jewish.[2][3]


The film follows the story of Daniel Balint, a brilliant but troublesome student at a Jewish Yeshiva who has become a fanatically violent Neo-Nazi in New York by his early 20s. The film plots his rise through the ranks of a fictional American Neo-Nazi party while he attempts to reconcile his religious past and ethnic heritage with his anti-Semitism.


  • Ryan Gosling as Daniel "Danny" Balint
  • Garret Dillahunt as Billings
  • Billy Zane as Curtis Zampf
  • Theresa Russell as Lina Moebius
  • Summer Phoenix as Carla Moebius
  • Ronald Guttman as Danny's Father
  • Heather Goldenhersh as Linda
  • A. D. Miles as Guy Danielsen


The film was well-received by critics;

"awe-inspiring...a late contender for one of the best films of the year - an intellectually breathtaking, profoundly moving film." Jamie Russell, BBC films[4]

"It's naturally thrilling...The Believer is astonishing" Charlotte O'Sullivan, The Independent[5]

"the film is driven by Gosling's revelatory performance... arresting, prickly, vaguely funny, even - 'difficult' in the best sense." Time Out[6]

See also


  1. Henry Bean, The Believer: Confronting Jewish Self-Hatred. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2002. ISBN 1-56025-372-X.
  4. The Believer (movie review) BBC, 4 December 2001
  5. The Big Picture: The Believers (review) The Independent, 7 December 2001
  6. The Believer (review) Time Out New York

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The Believer (film). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.