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Pedro Costa’s Horse Money

Pedro Costa, Cavalo dinheiro (Horse Money), 2014, digital video, color, sound, 104 minutes. Ventura.

Doctor: Has this happened to you before?

Ventura: It will happen again, yes, it will.

TRYING TO RATIONALIZE Pedro Costa’s Horse Money in terms of a synopsis—the film is mostly an achronological assembly of claustrophobic tableaux with one or two speaking characters—is ultimately a fool’s game, but connecting it to recent Portuguese history is a necessity. The April 25, 1974, coup known today as the Carnation Revolution, which was led by the left-wing Armed Forces Movement (MFA) and ended the long-standing Estado Novo dictatorship, took place when Costa was in his early teens. Ventura, Costa’s slightly older principal protagonist in practically all his recent films—a Cape Verdean immigrant and construction worker who always plays himself and scripts his own dialogue—was around in Lisbon too. But as Costa remarked in a recent interview in Cinema Scope, Ventura’s

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