Danny Balint // The Believer


  • Date de sortie (1h 42min
  • Réalisé par : Henry Bean
  • Avec : Ryan Gosling, Billy Zane, Garrett Dillahunt
  • Genre : Drame
  • Nationalité : Américain

STREAM V.F : purevid.com
STREAM V.O : putlocker.com

Synopsis et détails

Danny Balint, un skinhead new-yorkais de 22 ans violemment antisémite, s'en prend régulièrement aux Juifs. Orateur admiré dans un groupuscule d'extrême-droite, il se voit confier la mission de collecter des fonds pour ce mouvement néo-nazi en quête de respectabilité.
Mais Danny Balint est lui-même juif et donc contraint de cacher sa véritable identité. Jusqu'au jour où un journaliste met la lumière sur cette insupportable dualité et menace de la rendre publique.
Danny Balint vit alors de plus en plus mal ses contradictions et s'engage encore plus radicalement dans des actions antisémites. Mais ses racines, son enfance et sa religion vont inexorablement le rattraper. 


The film follows 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 fascist party while he attempts to reconcile his religious past and ethnic heritage with his anti-Semitism.
During his childhood, which is shown in flashbacks, Daniel is shown as a highly outspoken Jewish boy who regularly challenges his religion teachers with his unorthodox interpretations of scripture, much to their annoyance. For instance, he believes that the story of the Binding of Isaac was not about Abraham's faith but God's power. He also theorizes that Isaac was actually killed by Abraham and that the part about an angel stopping the sacrifice is a lie. He comes to the conclusion that God is a "bully" and leaves his old faith.
In the present day, Daniel finds a meeting of fascists run by Curtis Zampf and Lina Moebius who live with Lina's daughter Carla. He advocates killing Jews, specifically Ilio Manzetti, an investment banker. He finds that these fascists oppose harming Jews on practical if not moral grounds. However, Lina is impressed with Daniel's intelligence and invites him to a retreat in the country. After the meeting, Daniel and his fellow skinheads get into a fight with two African-American men and are bailed out of jail by Carla. After spending the night with Carla, he returns to the home of his ailing father, where he goes through some of his old Hebrew school notebooks and finds his old semiautomatic pistol. He is confronted by his sister Linda for his Nazi beliefs and urged to stay and eat dinner with his father. The two watch television, which is considered forbidden on Shabbat. This leads them to discuss the incomprehensibility of Jewish law.
Daniel is contacted by Guy Danielsen, a journalist writing an article on right-wing groups post-Oklahoma City Bombing, and the two agree to meet in a cafe for an interview. After allowing Daniel to rant about his various grievances over Jews, Guy reveals that he had been in contact with Daniel's old rabbi Stanley Nadelman and knows that Daniel is Jewish. Daniel takes Guy at gunpoint and threatens to commit suicide if Guy publishes Nadelman's allegations. Daniel and his skinhead friends go out into the countryside to Lina's retreat. There they meet fellow skinheads including Kyle, an explosives expert, and Drake, a skilled marksman.
Daniel and five other skinheads from the retreat go to a Jewish deli where they insult Jewish dietary restrictions. A fight breaks out and Daniel and the other skinheads are forced to take sensitivity training, where they hear about the experiences of Holocaust survivors. One talks about how his son was murdered by a Nazi. Daniel is enraged that the survivor did nothing to stop them. When the survivors respond that Daniel would also have done nothing to avoid being killed, he angrily leaves the session. Later that night, Daniel and the other skinheads break into a synagogue, vandalize it, and plant a bomb under the pulpit. They also tear and spit on a Torah scroll, though Daniel tries to stop them. After they leave, Daniel takes the scroll and a tallit with him. The next morning, the skinheads hear on the news that the bomb failed to go off because the timer froze at thirteen minutes. Thirteen, the rabbi explains, is a mystical number in Judaism, and they feel this means that God protected the synagogue. Back in his cabin, Daniel cleans the scroll and repairs the tear with tape. As he does this, he pictures himself as the Nazi soldier in the Holocaust survivor's story. He puts on the tallit under his shirt and performs a combination of the Nazi salute and Jewish prayers.
Daniel gets a phone call from Danielsen, who suspects him of planting the bomb in the synagogue. Afterwards, Drake approaches him with a plan to kill Ilio Manzetti. The two wait outside a temple for him with a sniper rifle; Daniel fires at him but misses. Drake sees the tallit under Daniel's shirt and realizes that he is a Jew. Daniel shoots him and escapes. He later meets with Lina and Curtis, who want to start an above-ground movement to bring fascism into the political mainstream. They also intend to invite Jews, blacks, and liberals. Daniel reluctantly agrees to help them raise funds. Carla comforts him and the two sleep together at Daniel's home. Carla sees the stolen Torah and asks Daniel to teach her Hebrew for intellectual reasons. Carla soon wishes to participate in Jewish rituals, ostensibly for "know your enemy" reasons.
Daniel hosts a lecture on anti-Semitism, asking a small audience of anti-Semites why they hate Jews, listing numerous contradictory reasons people give for anti-Semitism. Ultimately, Daniel concludes that anti-Semites have no concrete reason for hating Jews. He believes that the hatred is instinctive and natural. Daniel meets with a donor for Lina and Curtis' nascent fascist movement. He offers money but asks Daniel to drop all anti-Semitic rhetoric, arguing that the free market has made anti-Semitism useless as a propaganda tool. Daniel is disgusted by the donor's greed and lack of values, considering his behavior Jewish. Daniel wanders into a Jewish bookstore where he runs into Stuart, an old friend from his synagogue who is training to be a rabbi, and Miriam, Stuart's fiancee and an intern for the District Attorney. Assuming that Danny is an anti-racist skinhead, Stuart invites him to a Rosh Hashanah service at his synagogue. There he meets Stuart, Miriam, and another old acquaintance Avi, who calls him out as a racist skinhead. Miriam later reveals that half of the people in Lina Moebius' meetings are informants for the D.A.
Daniel speaks for an audience of Lina and Curtis' wealthiest donors. He argues that because Jews always emerge stronger than ever from periods of great suffering, the only way to annihilate Jews is to love and assimilate them, ending with a Jewish prayer. The speech alienates most of their donors and Lina expels Daniel from the movement. A news report shows that Ilio Manzetti was murdered. Flashbacks reveal that the shooter was Drake. Miriam says that Lina suspects Daniel, who proposed killing Manzetti at her house. Miriam offers to claim that Daniel was an informant for the D.A. who proposed killing Manzetti only as a cover. In return, Daniel has to wear a wire and get Lina to say something incriminating on tape. Daniel refuses her offer. As Yom Kippur approaches, Daniel calls Miriam and insists on taking Stuart's place at the pulpit on Yom Kippur. He and Kyle then plant a new bomb under the temple's pulpit. However, the pulpit is reinforced and the explosion will not go far beyond it. Daniel still orders Kyle to plant the bomb.
At the service the next day, Daniel is surprised to see Carla, who is still practicing Jewish rituals. Daniel takes his place at the pulpit and leads the congregation in prayer. He again thinks about the story the Holocaust survivor told him, only this time he imagines himself in the place of both the Nazi and the Jew. Daniel reveals to Stuart that he planted a bomb under the pulpit and orders everyone to evacuate. However, Daniel refuses to leave the pulpit and dies in the explosion.
The final sequence shows Daniel in the afterlife represented as the Jewish school he left as a child. His old religion teacher appears to him, hoping to continue discussing his theory about the Binding of Isaac. His teacher suggests that Isaac died on the mountain and was reborn in the next world. However, Daniel ignores him and continues ascending the school's stairs infinitely. His teacher urges him to stop climbing the stairs, saying that "There's nothing up there."


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