«Jewish Observer»
November 2001
5762 Kislev

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Buddi Allen thinks that most of the people will always be interested in two things: the relations between two genders and between Jews. If we look upon the films that became prizewinners at the film festivals this year and arose interest (with the shade of a scandal) then we may say that the son of Odessa Jew, in whose films almost all American film women-stars were shot, knows what he is speaking about.

The prizewinners at the Berlin and Cannes festivals were the films that arose a row by its non-traditional way of showing sexual relations. They are "Intimacy" by Patrice Shero and "Pianist" by Mikhael Khaneke. Jews became prizewinners at the Moscow International Festival and the American Sandens Festival of independent movie. At both festivals the film "The Believer" by Henry Been was nominated the winner. It is a traditional-by-form social and psychological drama with elements of action shocked both audience and critics with its plot. "The Believer" is a story of a young Jew from a religious New-York family who became an activist of a neo-Nazi group. I think that is not only the situation itself was provocative. (It is supposed that it was taken from real life. There was a similar case in the 60s). Yet the hero of the film, Denny, is also a theoretician of anti-Semitism. He constantly addresses other heroes of the film with judophobian remarks and speeches. In fact he addresses the audience. Moreover, he demands that his listeners should be honest and just to themselves. Do not like Jews, to wish them evil is natural and usual to everyone... The acting of the young actor Rayan Gosling is forceful, sharp and convincing, thus increasing the feeling of provocation. In some moments there is a feeling that the producer practices a well-known-in-medicine method of detecting the disease - a patient is injected a small dose of infection agent and this provokes the development of hidden symptoms.

"The Believer" is an address, first of all, to Jews. The film was done by Jews and for Jews. An important motive of the film is the "ghetto complex" problem, in our case it is voluntary ghetto. All over the film there is a haunting dream of the hero - he sees himself a SS-man killing a Jewish child. Before his death, the dream changes - now Danny is not a SS-man but the father of an innocent child, he attacks the man dressed in the black uniform with swastika. The man is dressed in the uniform that hangs in his house. In a dream he returns to his people. In real life he dies being cruel and desolate but not submitted.

"Nekuda", Saint-Petersburg

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