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408 Ratings

Stop the Pounding Heart

Directed by Roberto Minervini
Italy, Belgium, 2013
Drama, Documentary


Sara, a girl being home-schooled on a goat farm alongside her 11 siblings, finds her devout values challenged after she meets Colby, an amateur bull rider.

Our take

Reuniting (non) actors from his previous two films, Minervini keeps developing here his delicately ethnographic gaze, while quietly embracing neorealism to depict an America we’re not used to see. A minimalist gem of a love story.

Stop the Pounding Heart Directed by Roberto Minervini
Italian filmmaker Minervini came to a rural-Texas dairy farm and cast young Sara Carlson and her devoutly religious family as versions of themselves, gave them some loosely-framed narrative scenes to work with and then proceeded to make something that feels like a Direct Cinema classic. Real and staged elements have never been more naturally compressed into a quietly powerful piece of cinema.
January 09, 2015
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Like a significant portion of low-budget, serious-minded independent work taking place today, Stop the Pounding Heart falls squarely in the trend of on-location, non-actor-employing, process-oriented hybrid filmmaking. Thankfully, though, it bares no disingenuous traces of bandwagon-hopping… Minervini, whose name we’ll hopefully see more of, has fashioned a film rich in psychological mystery and ethnographic texture.
September 24, 2014
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The spiritual style in cinema may strive toward this ineffable and invisible essence, but any claims on behalf of film or faith to transcend this are specious in nature. Like a good disciple, Minervini entreats humbly upon his material. More than the sum of its avowed influences, Stop the Pounding Heartevidences a supplicant style of filmmaking.
June 25, 2014
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