Horse Money | Chicago Reader

Horse Money

104 minutes 2014

Portuguese director Pedro Costa returns to the dark, fantastic mode of his first film, O Sangue (1989), while continuing to explore Lisbon's poor and immigrant communities. Ventura, the aging immigrant from Cape Verde who played a fictionalized version of himself in Colossal Youth (2006), does so again here. As the movie opens, he's convalescing in a hospital after an unspecified illness, though one soon realizes that the hospital doesn't exist in the real world: it's always nighttime, nobody's sure what year it is, and ghosts interact with the living. Eventually Ventura wanders into the armed conflict between Portuguese soldiers and revolutionary forces that raged in his home country from the 1960s to the early '70s. Painterly and meditative in Costa's singular manner, this 2014 feature reconfigures traumatic episodes, both personal and historical, into a waking dream. In Creole and Portuguese with subtitles.

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