Cinema Review: Horse Money

Posted October 10, 2015 in Cinema Reviews, Film

Horse Money

Director: Pedro Costa

Talent: Ventura, Tito Furtado, Antonio Santos, Vitalina Varela

Release Date: 18th September 2015


The world of Horse Money is a confusing and multi-layered one. We appear to be presented with the hallucinatory psychical reality of an elderly Cape Verdean man, Ventura, who may be dying in an anonymous Portuguese institution that is at once a hospital, a prison, a psychiatric institution and a medieval dungeon, from scene to scene. Grounding these projections in a corresponding, banal reality ought not to be of concern however; the film plays out a reality that is distinctly its own, of a cinematic kind, and all the more vivid and powerful for it. Ventura’s memories of Cape Verdean traditional songs, knife-fighting, sedition, the Portuguese revolution of 1974-1975 and workplace injury return as tangible, physical interlocutors and tormentors in a haunting and claustrophobic cinematic space. Costa’s psychical-social-realism makes for a difficult and sometimes disturbing watch, but this is as honest and unique and vital a film as you will ever see.

Words: Oisín Murphy-Hall 


The key to the city. Straight to your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter.