Is Drive Anti-Semitic, Worth a Refund?

Albert Brooks in Drive

Sarah Deming of Michigan was hoping that Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, would be a fast-paced idiot-fest a la The Fast and the Furious when she saw it based solely on the trailer. Unfortunately for her, it happens to be a multi-layered thriller that takes a little bit of thought (though honestly, not too much) on the part of the viewer to enjoy. Deming was displeased, so she did what any red blooded American would do in a similar situation; she sued the studio that released the film in hopes of getting her ticket refunded.

That’s a great and ridiculous story to run with from the start, but there’s more. The Hollywood Reporter reports:

“Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film… having very little driving in the motion picture,” the suit continues. “Drive was a motion picture that substantially contained extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith.”

Whoa whoa whoa. Let’s back it up a bit, Sarah. Gratuitous? Defamatory? Dehumanizing?! In the same sentence?!

To bring you all up to speed, Drive tells the story of a nameless driver, Gosling, who finds himself accidentally embroiled in a mob deal gone awry. Albert Brooks (author of Heeb’s best book of 5771) is Bernie, the brains, and Ron Perlman is Nino, the beef, in this little enterprise. And yes, they are very much Jewish. I won’t tell you if violence befalls them, but I can tell you that violence befalls everyone in Drive.

This claim of anti-semitism is completely bogus, a last-ditch effort to make sense of Deming’s foolish claim that she was mislead into seeing a decent film. If we had to file suit every time we saw “extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith” we’d have no Schindler’s List, no Life is Beautiful, no History of the World: Part I. What a world!

Oh, and here’s the trailer that led to a woman seeing a movie that wasn’t like The Fast and the Furious but might lead to criminal violence against Jews, or something.

What do you think?

About The Author

Jonathan Poritsky

Jonathan Poritsky lives in Austin and misses a good bagel. You can read more of his work at the candler blog.

10 Responses

  1. Fred

    I saw drive with the author of this article. I am very sensitive to Anti-Semitism and I saw none of it in this film. The Jewishness of the gangsters is so peripheral to the story that it was probably missed by most people. Ron Perlman is Nino and he runs a pizza parlor. Wow, what a Jewish sterotype! Gimmee a break lady! It was a good movie, riveting and well acted. I give it 4 Jews out of 5. That’s a 20% discount for our Michigan friend or Michigana as I would call her.

  2. Martin H. Leaf

    Fred: How would you differentiate an anti-Semitic depiction of a Jew in a movie, from a non anti-Semitic depiction ?

    And Johnathan, can you tell me a little bit about the layers ?

  3. howard

    As a jew, it is news to me that we are a “race.” Doesn’t that put the kibosh on her argument as well? Also, I can’t stand it when one person sues in the name of the tribe. Makes us look like the cheap sterotype many anti-semites spew forth. I read about this elsewhere and I have to say this woman’s claim is utterly w/out merit.

  4. tina

    Exactly, Howard. My first reaction, was what a bunch of whiners. Shesh, good thing the Christians don’t sue everytime they are discriminated against.

  5. Jason

    I think Sarah is out of her mind. First of all, thank God the movie was nothing like Fast and Furious. What a horrible movie that was! Secondly, every character in the movie was portrayed as kind of scummy, not just the two Jewish guys. It was a story that took place in the seedy underbelly of LA. Sarah, if you are Jewish, you are giving us Jews a bad name, by perpetuating the stereotype that Jews are constantly kvetching that everything is anti-Semitic.

  6. Fred

    Note to Sarah – Your whine is strong. So strong, in fact, that it is making people sick…

  7. Yiddishe Maydel

    She probably hated the violence, the movie, but embellished for money back. You may be used to it, but violence is very ugly in this movie. Relax. Sweat the big stuff.. Peace Happy Holidays.

  8. Maria

    Wow bitches be crazy. At least this one. First off all the fast and furious claim is just idiotic like come on how old are you lady to not understand a trailer? Read into the movie before you buy the ticket if the trailer baffled u sooooo much. And te anti Semitic claim? Just moronic and ignorant. The two gangsters happen to be Jewish. So what? You don’t see Italians suing every time there’s another Italian mobster movie. You don’t see Russians or Serbians suing every single time they make a ba guy be Russian or Serbian which btw is ALWAYS. It’s a movie. America tends to be racist and loves making one person be the bad guy – specifically the German or Russian or Serbian. But rarely is it a Jewish person. You an I both know that. And you’re not the only person being picked on. I should sue every movie wer because I can easily make a case about them pickin on Christians. All those races I just said tend to be affiliated with Christianity. Don’t get me started on how they inaccurately display Christianity and lump it all as one religion in every movie making orthodox Christians lumped in with the Protestants and then of course there is always the ignorant Christian who know nothing about his with and of course the movie has to show his point of view. So I’m not suing them about that am I. So crazy bitch, don’t even get me started.


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