Sara is a young girl raised in a family of goat farmers. Her parents homeschool their twelve children, rigorously following the precepts of the Bible. Like her sisters, Sara is taught to be a devout woman, subservient to men while keeping her emotional and physical purity intact until marriage. When Sara meets Colby, a young amateur bull rider, she is thrown into crisis, questioning the only way of life she has ever known. In a stunning portrayal of contemporary America and the insular communities that dot its landscape, Stop the Pounding Heart is an exploration of adolescence, family and social values, gender roles, and religion in the rural American South.
Minervini’s contemplative, inwardly-focused filmmaking method has evoked comparisons to such auteurs as Robert Bresson and Carlos Reygadas, while the way he approaches his subjects gives his work an almost ethnographic flavor à la Jean Rouch.