The Passage, 2011, Roberto Minervini © Viennale

The Passage (2011)

Regie: Roberto Minervini; Darsteller: Soledad St. Hilaire, Alan Lyddiard, Mean Gene Kelton. 89 min
Bereits im ersten Langfilm gelingt es Minervini, Intimität zwischen seiner Kamera und seinen Laiendarsteller/inne/n herzustellen: Sie entblößen die Natürlichkeit ihrer Körper, ob sie sich nun betrinken, halbnackt ein Spiegelei braten oder in Unterwäsche im Rio Grande baden. Es geht um Tod oder Leben: Ana hat Krebs im Endstadium, dem eben entlassenen Sträfling Jack droht der soziale Tod und Harold will nach Liebesverlust ein später Künstler werden. "Für immer zusammen", wünscht sich Ana in einer Szene und umarmt die beiden Männer. Für immer nicht, aber wenigstens für ein Bad im Fluss. (F. K.)

She has only a few weeks left to live, the doctor explains to Ana. "Maybe less. Take care of yourself." She should spend the rest of her days with her family, he advises her, and most people whose lungs have been eaten up by cancer would probably do precisely that. But first of all, Ana has no family, and second, she still has hope. Because on her way home, her Mexican friend has given her the address of a religious faith healer who lives several days' journey away in west Texas. At the supermarket, Ana meets Jack, who has just been released from prison, and because he desperately needs money and she no longer needs her savings, the odd couple embark on the journey in Jack's car.  The Passage is Roberto Minervini's feature-film debut and the first part of his Texas trilogy. Many of the aspects that characterize his subsequent works are already outlined in this remarkable road movie. The Passage is impressive due to its semi-documentary nature and the amateur actors around Soledad St. Hilaire, but especially because of Minervini's fine sense of the harsh reality of America's Deep South and his empathy for the people. When Harold, a nondescript amateur artist, joins Ana and Jack, the trio is complete, and the new final stage of their journey can begin. (Michael Pekler)