One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is director Kevin Asch’s Holy Rollers. Inspired by actual events, Holy Rollers stars Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Bartha and it’s about Hasidic Jews smuggling Ecstasy in the late ’90s in New York City.
I saw the film last night and while it didn’t wow me, Jesse Eisenberg showcased his considerable acting skills and demonstrated why he’s constantly working. Also, while a million coming of age stories have been made, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one that takes place in a Hasidic Jewish community in New York City. Again, didn’t wow me, but I liked it. If you’re curious about the film, after the jump we’ve been given 6 clips. Take a look:
Here’s the synopsis:
“Holy Rollers” is inspired by actual events in the late nineties, when Hasidic Jews were recruited as mules to smuggle ecstasy from Europe into the United States. Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg), a young Hasid from an Orthodox Brooklyn community, is following the path his family has chosen with a pending arranged marriage and becoming a Rabbi. A charming neighbor, Yosef Zimmerman (Justin Bartha), senses Sam’s resistance and propositions him to transport ‘medicine’ for Jackie (Danny Abeckaser), an Israeli dealer, and Rachel (Ari Graynor), Jackie’s girlfriend. Sam quickly demonstrates his business acumen to his bosses, who instantly take Sam under their wing, and into the exciting worlds of Manhattan and Amsterdam nightlife. Sam falls deeper into their cavalier lifestyle, even experimenting with ecstasy, and falling for Rachel. As the business grows, Sam’s double life begins to rip his family apart, while the community starts to suspect his illegal activities. Sam slowly comes to realize the façade behind the easy money and parties. Caught between life as a smuggler and the path back to God, Sam goes on the run, forced to make a fatal decision that could bring the entire operation crashing down.
As always, are the clips are in the player below. Once you push play you might have to watch a pre-roll ad and then all the clips will play in order. Sorry about the pre-roll, it pays for the bandwidth.
CLIPS REMOVED AT REQUEST OF STUDIO