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The documentary-style film follows Sara, who begins to question the values handed down to her after meeting Colby, a young bull rider.

2 out of 4 stars

Written by
Roberto Minervini
Directed by
Roberto Minervini
Starring
Sara Carlson and Colby Trichell
Country
USA
Language
English

In a restrained, candid, documentary-style film about an adolescent girl's existential worry, Italian director Roberto Minervini considers faith, submission and the rural, religious and austere American way. Sara, 14, is the oldest sibling of a goat-farming family. Home-schooled and by-the-Bible-raised, she begins to question the values handed down to her.

Opposite her, but in a much smaller "role," is a raw-boned, bull-riding boy whose attention span is just long enough to allow him to stay atop a bucking animal for an eight-second ride.

Minervini places these two non-actors in the same arena and no sparks whatsoever fly. It's a tedious, patience-testing experience that could reward only cinephiles and the curious.

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Stop the Pounding Heart is the last of Minervini's "Texas trilogy," so this isn't his first rodeo. Indulgently, he explores a world that is near-fascinating for its insularity, but one that probably calls for photographs instead of this film.

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