Be Still My Beating Heart

A Fascinating Dark Tale

by OC Movies


The lives of two sisters, one who struggles with issues of the mind, the other with issues of the body

Ruth Paxton

Ruth Paxton


An interesting one, written and directed by Ruth Paxton (“Pulse (Short)”, “Nevada (Short)”), it features an outstanding performance from Maxine Peake (“Funny Cow”, “Peterloo”).

Diana (Maxine) works in a mortuary, dissecting dead bodies for a living. This, or other factors, have had an affect on her mental health. She seems stressed when in public, she has visions of wolves when she sees people.

Her sister Sarah, Elysia Welch (“Outlander (TV)”, “Mad Bob (Short)”), has a physical illness which means she can’t move much without suffering shortness of breath. Diana must bath her, massage her and feed her.

But this isn’t the life Sarah wants, she’s young, she wants to be out with her friends, she wants to celebrate her birthday without having to watch another rom-com with her older sister.

Paxton brilliantly raises the tension, interjecting scenes with images of a wolf eating a dead carcass, the sound is disgusting, this isn’t a short you’ll be wanting to watch before, or after, you eat!

But you will want to watch Be Still My Beating Heart for it’s brilliantly made. From the dark tones throughout to the performance from Peake, it works on all levels.

(This review was written as part of the BFI Film Festival London coverage)


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