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Horse Money

Pedro Costa
Cavalo Dinheiro
Portugal 2014 / 103’
Our Man

Every revolution eats its children: in Portuguese history, romantic images of carnations on the barrel of a tank are accompanied by the memory of the violent "hot summer of 1975". Stones in the hands of new hongwaybings. On the streets of Lisbon, liberation from the regime was celebrated by a crowd of smiling white faces. But where were the city's black residents at the time? Fearful, they shuttered up their homes and hid in the bushes. Horse Money was made so as to forget about the fear that creeps up again in the mind of Ventura in the form of a young captain he comes face to face within the confines of a small hospital elevator. In the film, like in a dream or a fever, time dies, the past mixes with the present and death with life. The nature of men is to be distant, while that of women is to wait faithfully... In this masculine story, Vitalina enters softly like a shadow or fog with her widow's grief and feminine suffering. It changes perspective and introduces emotional confusion. Who is the victim and who is the executioner? Costa multiplies the unknown, admitting that he himself doesn't know, that he's unsure of what really happened here.

Agnieszka Szeffel


  • Locarno IFF 2014 - Best Director, Don Quixote Award, Swiss Critics Boccalino Award: Best Director, Best Film
  • Mar del Plata FF 2014 – Special Mention (Cinematography)
  • Munich FF 2015 - Best International Film
  • Yamagata International Documentary FF 2015 - Robert and Frances Flaherty Prize

Pedro Costa

Born in Lisbon (1959), 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 Blood (O Sangue) had its world premiere at the Mostra Cinematografica di Venezia in 1989. Casa de Lava, his second feature, shot in Cabo Verde, was shown in Cannes, in 1994. Some of his other feature films include Bones (Ossos), In Vanda's Room (No Quarto da Vanda) and Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (Où gît votre sourire enfoui?) on the work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub. He directed Sweet Exorcist, a segment of the omnibus feature Centro Histórico, with Manoel de Oliveira, Aki Kaurismäki and Víctor Erice. His work has been presented in galeries and museums around the world. Horse Money (Cavalo Dinheiro) was awarded the Leopard for best direction at the Locarno International Film Festival in 2014.


1987 Cartas a Julia (short)

1990 Krew / O Sangue / Blood

1994 Dom z lawy / Casa de Lava / Down to Earth

1997 Kości / Ossos / Bones

2000 W pokoju Wandy / No Quarto da Vanda / In Vanda's Room

2001 Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub, cinéastes (odcinek Cinéastes, de notre temps, TV serie)

2002 Gdzie spoczywa twój uśmiech? / Onde Jaz o Teu Sorriso? / Où gît votre sourire enfoui? / Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?

2003 6 bagatelas (short)

2006 Pochód młodości / Juventude Em Marcha / Colossal Youth

2007 Tarrafal (short in O Estado do Mundo / The State of the World)

2007 Łowcy królików / The Rabbit Hunters (short in Memories, Jeonju Digital Project)

2009 Ne change rien

2010 O Nosso Homem / Our Man (short)

2012 Słodki egzorcysta / Sweet Exorcist / Lamento da Vida Jovem (short in Centro Histórico)

2014 Koń Forsa / Cavalo Dinheiro / Horse Money

2018 Vitalina Varela

Cast & Crew

director Pedro Costa
cinematography Leonardo Simões
editing João Dias
music Os Tubarões
cast Ventura, Vitalina Varela, Tito Furtado, Benvindo Tavares, António Santos, Alberto „Lento” Barros, Pedro Tavares, Isabel Cardoso, António Semedo Moreno, Luís Mendonça, Arlindo Pina, José António Veiga, João Gomes, Maurício Fernandes, Joel Santos
producer Rodrigo Dâmaso
production OPTEC, Sociedade Óptica Técnica
sales Pedro Costa
language Portuguese, Creole
colouration colour