Stop the Pounding Heart, 2013, Roberto Minervini © Viennale

Stop the Pounding Heart (2013)

Regie: Roberto Minervini; Darsteller: Sara Carlson, Colby Trichell, Tim Carlson. 100 min
 
Was macht eine gute Christin aus? Sara trägt eine Zahnspange, darum lächelt sie eher selten. Die 14-Jährige ist eins von zwölf Kindern einer sehr religiösen Familie auf einer Farm im Bible Belt, wo sie jeden Tag Ziegen melkt. Während sie mit ihrer Familie unterwegs ist, um Milch und Käse zu verkaufen, begegnet sie dem gleichaltrigen Rodeoreiter Colby, dessen Leben sich vor allem um Stiere und Pferde dreht. Sie gehören scheinbar verschiedenen Welten an – doch sieht man sie beide beim Beten und beim Schießen –, aber diese Begegnung lässt Saras Herz höher schlagen und löst ein Nachdenken über die von Gott gewollte Stellung der Frau aus. (F. K.)


Stop the Pounding Heart focuses on Sara, a young woman who lives on a goat farm in rural Texas with her parents and numerous siblings. The daily life of the deeply religious family (which we have already briefly met at a stopover in The Passage) is marked by work, discipline and prayer. Minervini takes a lot of time to explore Sara's role in this rigid system. The individual scenes in which he follows her at work, at the family table or as she is teaching her younger siblings seem like documentary miniatures that last several minutes each. Her everyday life is governed by rules, but the young woman is insecure when it comes to her feelings. The young rodeo rider Colby (who already made a brief appearance in Low Tide) is partly to blame for this. "Help her to stop the pounding heart," Sara's mother prays at the end of the film, hoping that her daughter may overcome her doubts. Minervini depicts ritual and religion as close allies: in the prayers of the young rodeo riders before they mount the bulls, or even in ritually staged target practice ("Don't shoot my chickens!"). With this comparatively gentle completion of his Texas trilogy, Minervini has finally established himself as one of the most important neorealist directors of American cinema. (Michael Pekler) 

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