Identity can make you nuts, but it doesn’t have to leave you hopeless. In The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote about the peculiarities of a ”double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one‘s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.“ Du Bois‘ concept of ”two-ness“ (”two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals“) speaks not just to the problem of the color-line but to the problem of every one of this patchwork nation’s bifurcated identities. Yet in seeming to suggest that it‘s Orthodox Judaism in and of itself -- rather than in its dialectical relationship to the world at large -- that’s driven Danny insane, leaving him literally and culturally schizophrenic, Bean paints himself into a corner, leaving both the film and Danny with no exit. In the end, Bean‘s greater argument isn’t really with the anti-Semites of the world, real or imagined; it‘s with Orthodox Judaism, which pulls at Danny unrelentingly, seductively. Toward the frenzied end of The Believer, after running with his racist cohorts for too many miles, Danny finally hooks up with some of his former Jewish schoolmates, and you see him, for the first time, really engage with the culture he sees as having forced him around the bend. Funny thing is, it doesn’t look all that bad -- to Danny, or to us.