After living in Berlin for almost my whole life I am ashamed to admit that I never went to a Berlinale movie before. Something always stopped me from going. Not this year. Thanks to the Blog I got the ticket to see my first film and finally lost my Berlinale virginity.
Like so often the first time was not that great though. I went to see the movie „A dog called money” by Seamus Murphy from 2019. It tells the story of the British artist PJ Harvey, who likes to travel in order to get inspirations for her new songs. The photographer and director Murphey followed her on three of these trips to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Washington DC.
During several encounters with the people, Harvey absorbed their stories and the sounds which surrounded the protagonists, in order to work with them in her studio back in London.
By no means is she the first artist to seek inspiration from different cultures. In fact, it reminded me of the Beatles who famously introduced Indian instruments into their European Pop Music in 1968. However, with PJ Harvey I found the result to be less impressive. The encounters often seemed superficial and the music tried to portray an experimental and artsy approach which seemed rather forced than innovative and curious. Instead of maybe starting collaborations with artists she met on her journey she decided to take their stories and interpret them together with her group of white musicians in London. An impression I did not seem to be on my own with, since several questions in the following Q&A lead towards the same direction.
However, I was definitely not bored during the 90 minutes and I certainly became motivated again to go and see other places and to meet new people. In this way Murphy succeeded in creating an atmosphere of something we would call “Fernweh” in German.
Text by tilmanhurlin