Horse Money

Cavalo Dinheiro

- PORTUGAL / 2014 / Portuguese, Creole / Color / DCP / 104 min

Director: Pedro Costa
Photography: Leonardo Simões, Pedro Costa
Editing: João Dias
Sound: Olivier Blanc, Vasco Pedroso
Music: Os Tubarões
Sound Editors: Hugo Leitão, Eve Correa-Guedes
Sound Mixing: Branko Neskov
Producer: Abel Ribeiro Chaves
Production Company and World Sales: Sociedade Óptica Técnica www.optec.pt
Distribution Company in Japan: Cinematrix

Pedro Costa returns his tranquil gaze to the memory and pain of Colossal Youth’s old immigrant Ventura, who formerly lived in a slum in Fontainhas, on the outskirts of Lisbon. Ventura left Cabo Verde at nineteen for work, experienced the Carnation Revolution in 1974, and then his life took twists and turns. From a ruined factory to a prison-like hospital; from the past, present, and to the future, he wanders like an apparition in time and space. The combination of pure human love and sublime cinematic technique reveal to us the tracks of his soul.

[Director’s Statement] The starting point of this film was the stories told by Ventura. We were in the same place when the Carnation Revolution broke out in Portugal in 1974. I had the chance to be a young boy in a revolution and suddenly I could discover and experience music, politics, films, girls, all at the same time. I was happy, I was yelling in the streets, I was taking part in the occupations of schools and factories. I was thirteen and it blinded me. It took me three decades to realize that my friend, Ventura, was in the same places in tears and terrified, hiding with his comrades like him from immigration officials. He told me his memories of a time spent in what he calls his “prison,” where he fell into a long deep sleep. I can hardly say more, it’s all in the film, and the shooting was devastating, we shook a lot. Ventura is desperately trying to remember, but this is not necessarily the best thing. So I think we made this film to forget. Really to forget, and to be done with it.

- Pedro Costa

Born in Lisbon, he left his course of studies in history to attend classes taught by the poet and filmmaker António Reis at the Lisbon Film School. His first film O Sangue had its world premiere at the Mostra di Venezia in 1989. Casa de Lava (1994), his second feature, shot in Cabo Verde, was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, Un Certain Regard, in 1994. His other feature films include Ossos (1997), In Vanda’s Room (2000, the Mayor’s Prize at YIDFF 2001), Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (2001)—on the work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub—and Colossal Youth (2006, YIDFF 2007), which was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. He directed a segment for the omnibus Centro Histórico (2012), with Manoel de Oliveira, Aki Kaurismaki and Victor Erice. His most recent feature Horse Money has been awarded the Leopard for Best Director at the Locarno Film Festival 2014.