Cavalo Dinheiro - Beursschouwburg

8 October, 2015 - 20:30
Beursschouwburg, Brussels

"So we make films on high seas. And as we do not have a book of laws, we work in a very dark area, which is memory, because our material is memory.” - Pedro Costa

“Ventura is neither an old immigrant answering questions from a documentary maker about his life, neither an actor playing the role of an old immigrant. He is a man who plays his life again, his life and that of his fellowmen, who plays it again like the present charged with an entire history, and for this he only has one body, a body with the marks his life has left on it, one single body in one single time, to show the passage of forty years on the worker’s bodies.” - Jacques Rancière

After three compilation programmes with shorter films, Zéro de conduite chose to show only one film this time: the wonderful Cavalo dinheiro [Horse Money] (2014), Pedro Costa’s latest film. This evening, in collaboration with Courtisane, is the launch of a short screening tour of the film in Brussels, Leuven, Kortrijk, Antwerp & Ghent.

Ever since Costa proceeded into Fontaínhas for the first time, a quarter in the periphery of Lisbon, he made it his life’s work to document the lives of its inhabitants, many among them immigrants from Cape Verde. In Cavalo dinheiro, old and sick Ventura, also the majestic protagonist in Costa’s Juventude em marcha [Colossal Youth] (2006), wanders around in his own shattered memories, in which delusion and reality, present and past intertwine inextricably. He relives his past full of violence and broken dreams and at the same time plays the young Ventura, just arrived in Portugal to work on the construction sites like many others. Costa reconstructs Ventura’s life, haunted by the roar of history, into a mythological journey to the underworld and back.


Twice a year, Beursschouwburg asks Zéro de conduite to curate a film program. In 2014 they proposed two evenings: To the Distant Observer and Story of Kindness. The first program was a series of films with a live soundtrack by Joachim Badenhorst. For the second evening they selected a program around the committed and vibrant film Chuyen tu te [The Story of Kindness or How to Behave] (1985/1987) by the Vietnamese documentary filmmaker Tran Van Thuy. In April of this year Schaffende Hände focused on hands and included films by Yvonne Rainer, Robert Breer, Harun Farocki and Marguerite Duras.

Zéro de conduite supports, produces and presents the work of documentary filmmakers Gerard-Jan Claes, Elias Grootaers and Olivia Rochette. The name is a reference to Jean Vigo’s eponymous film made in 1933, a lyrical ode to youthful rebellion.

You can buy tickets here or at the Beursschouwburg:

Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money)

Pedro Costa

Ventura wanders into a purgatory of shattered memories and broken dreams. A knife fight in March, 1975, which left him with a gash in his head that required 96 stitches, and may have left his adversary dead; his employer refusing to let him work because he was deemed too young; a horse named Money, torn to pieces by vultures... The memories become explosive in the course of an elevator ride to the nether regions and back. Horse Money is a polyphonic tale of fragility and resilience in the light of failure, and of all those who struggle to carve themselves out in barren space, to reinforce their existence as something other than phantoms.