One of the most thoughtful singer-songwriters of her generation, PJ Harvey accompanies the director on his journey to the far corners of the world.
Polly Jean Harvey has always been very careful in choosing her collaborators, which include Thom Yorke and Nick Cave. Seamus Murphy, who inspired her latest album The Hope Six Demolition Project, is no exception. Irish war photographer—a Robert Capa of his time—Murphy caught her attention as the author of poetic and dramatic shots from troubled areas. PJ Harvey accompanied him incognito on his trips to Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Washington, and wrote songs about the worlds behind the photographs. Her music seems to grow right out of the shots of a Kabul cinema, its floor covered with bullets, or a picture of a gang of teenagers with gold chain and a dog called Money—just like the lines from her album Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea seemed to float between the high-rises of New York.
In recent years, Harvey has avoided publicity and interviews, but in A Dog Called Money the Dorset-based singer comes across as very lively and open—laughing with musicians in the Somerset House studio built as an installation to allow visitors to witness the making of the album; travelling on the London tube and reflecting on the price of her sandals while walking up the stairs of a bombed house in Kosovo. The film was produced by Pulse Films, whose previous releases include 20,000 Days on Earth, which depicts a fictitious day in the life of Nick Cave. The first (and perhaps the last) documentary on PJ Harvey is a collage of personal and political encounters that fall together into a unique experience comparable to a concert.
A Dog Called Money
Director: Seamus Murphy
Ireland, UK, 2019. 90 min. 16+