The Believer

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The Believer is a 2001 film directed and written (with Mark Jacobson) by Henry Bean, an Orthodox Jew.

The fictional story involves a Jew who becomes a violent "neo-Nazi", very loosely inspired by the real-life Daniel Burros, a man with Jewish ancestry who was a member of the American Nazi Party and the United Klans of America, before committing suicide, but who apparently was not involved in any crime.

A critical review of the film stated that "Many of the seemingly inexplicable elements in the drama [...] only become comprehensible in the context of Bean’s own gravitation toward conservative Judaism, which he sets out in an essay included in The Believer: Confronting Jewish Self-Hatred [...] obedience to the hallakah (the law), not because it ‘makes sense’ or improves life, but because the Torah commands it.... Here, at last, was a Judaism I could believe in, because it didn’t require belief. It was beyond theology, beyond psychology, beyond reason. It offered nothing except itself, and therefore could never disappoint. Its very lack of argument was what persuaded me: that precisely by dispensing with all calculations of cost, benefit and truth, it offered truly something truly beyond this world, a praxis, things to be done entirely for their own sake. One might ask, then, why these particular things instead of others? And, unless you accept the divine origin of the Torah, there is no answer except that this system links you to a tradition, and thus, to your ancestors."[1]

The film is stated to have been controversial among Jews, with his film co-worker Jacobson leaving the project due to "what seemed to him an excess of Jewish content", the Simon Wiesenthal Center criticizing it, and commercial distribution stated to have been limited.[1]

Regardless, Wikipedia apparently thinks that the fictional film is a documentary, categorizing it as "Antisemitism in the United States".