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Horse Money

Originally screened at HOME in September 2015, this film is now available to watch online via Second Run DVD


One of today’s most important filmmakers, Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa returns with the eagerly awaited follow-up to his landmark Fontainhas trilogy of Ossos, In Vanda’s Room and Colossal Youth, which poetically captured the lives of those residing in the eponymous Lisbon slum and their eventual relocation to a stark suburban social-housing unit. In Horse Money, Ventura — the sad-eyed Cape Verdean lead of Colossal Youth — is lost in startlingly abstracted and stunningly rendered indeterminacy as revolution takes place in the streets. A product of the failed promises of Portugal’s Carnation Revolution in the 1970s — where the fight for democracy after decades of dictatorship neglected the immigrant population of his generation — Ventura is increasingly held captive by his madness and the “nervous disease” that causes his constant trembling, the results of a lifetime’s worth of back-breaking manual labour and extreme poverty. Invoking the photography of Jacob Riis (1849 – 1914), the famous American photographer, journalist, and advocate for poverty reform, Costa’s new film is both a powerful indictment of social and racial injustice in Portugal and a new pinnacle of the filmmaker’s art.

“★★★★ Eerie, unsettling film is hermetic to the point of being baffling.” The Independent

“★★★★★ […] the film is not limbo; it ends, and when it does, we leave a little different then when we started.” The Financial Times

“★★★★★ Pedro Costa returns with his first feature since 2006. The result is nothing short of spectacular.” Little White Lies

“★★★ […] austere work from the Samuel Beckett of world cinema.” The Guardian

“★★★ Costa offers some oft-stunning compositions for his digitally shot, non-linear, draining foray into a world of shadows, dementia and delirium.” The Skinny

“★★★★ Eloquent, mythical and sublime.” Cine Vue