Horse Money
(Cavalo Dinheiro)

Directed by Pedro Costa.
With Ventura, Vitalina Varela, Tito Furtado.
Portugal, 2014, DCP, color, 103 min.
Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese with English subtitles.
DCP source: Cinema Guild

Horse Money is a mesmerizing and radical expansion of the milestone chronicle of displaced peoples and dreams that stretches across Pedro Costa’s so-called Fontainhas trilogy, named for the endangered and ultimately destroyed neighborhood where Ossos (1997), In Vanda’s Room (2000) and Colossal Youth (2006) all take place. While the earlier films are largely choral, interweaving multiple characters and stories, Horse Money focuses resolutely upon the figure of Ventura, the aging Cape Verdean immigrant and construction worker first seen in Colossal Youth, and now convalescing in a sanatorium transformed by Costa—and DP Leonardo Simões—into a shadowy, oneiric and almost Caligarian space. The ethereally beautiful and frightening sculptural figures hewn by Costa and Simões make indistinguishable the friends and ghosts who visit Ventura and set Horse Money adrift between haunting stories of Portugal’s vanished past and troubled present.

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