Holy Rollers Directed by: Kevin Asch
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Ari Graynor, Danny A. Abeckaser, Jason Fuchs, Mark Avanir, Q-Tip
First Independent Pictures
Release Date: May 21, 2010 (limited)
The most important thing is this: relax, mind your business, and act Jewish.
When it comes to things that don’t mix very well, what are the first things that come to mind? Water and oil; wool caps and Cancun; peanut butter and onion sandwiches, perhaps? How about Hasidic Jews and drug smuggling? I would think that has to be one of the crazier mixes one could think of, no? Well, in 1998, it was a mix that happened quite often, and one such story is told in First Independent Pictures’ Holy Rollers.
The movie tells the true story of Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg), a Hasidic Jew in late ’90s Brooklyn, New York who is in the midst of studying to become a Rabbi and entering into an arranged marriage to a girl who wants eight children. Sam works for his father in their fabric store, but it’s very clear that he has a strong sense of business for such a young age. When his wife-to-be decides not to marry him, Sam wonders where he and his life have led him wrong. One day his neighbor and fellow-Jew Yosef Zimmerman (Justin Bartha) offers him a job opportunity that’s too good to pass up: deliver some medicine here and there, and bring in about $1,500 per job.