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Based on the famous novel, The Chosen, by Chaim Potok, this coming-of-age drama explores the friendship of two young Jewish boys. One boy, Reuven, is conservative and religious, but lives in the secular world. He enjoys baseball and reading and has a close relationship with his father who teaches Jewish history. The other boy, Danny, is an Orthodox Jew who lives in a religious community. His father is a Hasidic rabbi and never speaks to him. He is a child prodigy and can memorize large amounts of text in a matter of minutes. While he wants to become a psychologist, his father pushes him to become a rabbi, as is dictated by the community.

The film opens at a baseball game. Danny hits a ball that smashes into Reuven's face while he is pitching. Reuven's glasses shatter and he fears he may not see again. Although Danny goes to the hospital and tries to apologize, Reuven remains unmoved. Slowly though, the boys develop a friendship. Over time, Reuven learns a lot about the world Danny lives in, which is filled with Orthodox Jewish rituals, rules, and customs. Danny learns about art and music through Reuven as it is forbidden for Danny to watch films or listen to secular music.

The Chosen contains much information on the differences between the secular Jewish world and the religious Jewish world. Danny's father does not speak to him, as part of a spiritual discipline, so that he may grow up to be a righteous man and lead the community spiritually. As Reuven and Danny become older and Israel becomes a central topic of discussion, their friendship is tested. Reuven raises money to send arms to Israel and his father is an ardent Zionist. Danny's family opposes the state of Israel and considers support of Israel to be a violation of their religious beliefs. At the end, each boy fulfills their dreams as adults and remains friends.

| 1981 | 1 hr 48 min | 7.1/10
Maximilian Schell, Rod Steiger, Robby Benson, Barry Miller
Jeremy Kagan

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