Placed 3rd in Sight and Sound’s best films of 2014. Portugal’s Pedro Costa returns to a familiar cast of characters for a hauntingly beautiful contemplation of his country’s tumultuous past and uncertain future.

The latest from one of the true poets of contemporary European cinema, ‘Horse Money’ is a dream-like nocturnal film. Costa’s hero Ventura is admitted to a hospital that resembles a prison and a Piranesi-style nightmare palace. There he meets relatives, social outsiders and a whispering woman in search of the past. He also encounters a living statue, previously seen in an episode of portmanteau film Centro Historico, but that finds new resonance in this expanded context.

Weaving voices, music and silence, and deploying deep chiaroscuro and compositions that favour striking diagonals, Costa proves himself a great socially committed filmmaker and a master sculptor of space and human presence.

Reviews

Horse Money is yet another masterpiece from one of the world’s greatest film artists.