A new PJ Harvey documentary, A Dog Called Money, that delves into the inspiration behind her 2016 album The Hope Six Demolition Project will make its US theatrical debut on 18 March at the Film Forum in New York City.
Written and directed by acclaimed photojournalist Seamus Murphy, the film explores Murphy and Harvey’s journeys through Washington, DC, Kosovo and Kabul that spawned not only the album, but other collaborative projects including The Hollow of the Hand, a large-format photo book that featured Harvey’s poetry alongside Murphy’s photos.
Harvey and Murphy also worked together in 2011, when Murphy directed videos for all 12 songs on her critically acclaimed album Let England Shake.
The film first made its premiere at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in 2019 and made its UK theatrical premiere on 8 November, when it also hit the streaming service MUBI in the UK on the same date. Later, it was picked up for distribution in the US by Abramorama.
A Dog Called Money takes viewers inside Harvey’s creative process – through the gestation, writing and recording of the Grammy-nominated, protest album – in an experimental, open-to-the-public studio at London’s Somerset House. Songs like ‘The Community of Hope’, ‘The Wheel’ and ‘The Ministry of Defence’ are vignettes of poverty stricken and war-torn communities in the Middle East and United States.
“Among British musicians of the past 30 years, there has been no more urgent or adventurous figure than PJ Harvey,” writes Graham Fuller, for Sight & Sound in his film review.
“A protean singer, instrumentalist, composer, poet and sculptor. Her legions of fans will savour her presence in photojournalist Seamus Murphy’s humanist documentary. Music emerges as a liberating Esperanto in the film. Like the great Hungarian combat photographer Robert Capa, Murphy has an unerring eye for poetic compositions. A Dog Called Money features dynamic montages.”
More recently in October of 2019, Harvey shared her cover of the theme song ‘Red Right Hand’, from the hit TV show Peaky Blinders. She also put her talents to use for other theatrical projects including writing an original score for the four-part British TV drama series, The Virtues as well as for the West End theatrical production of All About Eve.