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The Believer Details


In this powerful and disturbing drama, Danny Balint (Ryan Gosling) is a member of a gang of racist skinheads who espouses a vile but well-articulated philosophy of anti-Semitism. Danny also has a secret -- he is a Jew, and was a top student in Hebrew school before he began to ask too many questions about the deeper implications of the teachings in the Torah and the Old Testament, leading to his expulsion. Angry and confused, Danny began to explore the philosophies of the neo-Nazi movement, which he soon came to embrace through a mixture of anger over the tragic history of the Jewish people, bitterness over his experiences in Hebrew school, and a loathing of himself. Danny soon becomes a key member of a skinhead sect led by Curtis (Billy Zane) and Lina (Theresa Russell), but while Curtis and Lina believe that the desire for cultural assimilation by many American Jews will lead to their self-destruction, Danny advocates a more direct and violent approach in dealing with the "enemy." Danny gains the admiration of his fellow skinheads for his intelligence and commitment, and wins the affection of Carla (Summer Phoenix), a group member with severe masochistic tendencies. But in time Danny's beliefs begin to shift once again, just as the truth about his background becomes known to his comrades. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, The Believer was inspired by the true story of Daniel Burros, a member of the American Nazi Party who committed suicide in the 1960s when it was revealed by the press that he was born to a Jewish family. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:May 17, 2002


Awarded by
Independent Spirit Awards Henry Bean Best First Feature 2001 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Henry Bean Best Screenplay 2001 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Ryan Gosling Best Actor 2001 Nominee
Independent Spirit Awards Summer Phoenix Best Supporting Actress 2001 Nominee


Ryan Gosling
as Danny Balint
Summer Phoenix
as Carla Moebius
Theresa Russell
as Lina Moebius
Billy Zane
as Curtis Zampf
A.D. Miles
as Guy Danielsen
Glenn Fitzgerald
as Drake
Garret Dillahunt
as Billings
Joel Garland
as O.L.
Heather Goldenhersh
as Linda
Jordan Lage
as Roger Brand


Henry Bean
Susan Hoffman
Henry Bean
Jim Denault
Joel Diamond
Composer (Music Score)
Lee Percy
Mayin Lo
Susan Block
Production Designer
Lucio Seixas
Art Director
Eric Sandys
Executive Producer
Damian Canelos
Sound/Sound Designer
Dave Raphael
Sound/Sound Designer
Roger Bobb
First Assistant Director
Adrienne Stern
Derek Yip
Production Accountant