A Dog Called Money
For her ninth studio album, alternative-music icon PJ Harvey visited Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Washington, D.C., to talk with locals and let their stories inspire her song lyrics, while filmmaker Seamus Murphy captured the moments in this ambitious documentary.
Alternative-music icon PJ Harvey's ninth studio album, 2016's "The Hope Six Demolition Project," was created through a unique process that blended travelogue, photography, performance art, and now a documentary feature. It began when Harvey, looking to develop a new set of politically tinged songs that would also evoke a tangible sense of place, decided to accompany award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker Seamus Murphy as he travelled on assignments to war-torn regions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as to the poor, mostly black neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. As Murphy filmed, Harvey personally interacted with the members of the different communities and wrote her impressions in a diary, crafting song lyrics and melodies based on the stories she uncovered. Back in London, Harvey and her band experimented with these new songs during a live sound installation called "Recording in Progress" at the distinguished Somerset House, generating an album's worth of material entirely within a glass-walled recording studio, with members of the public invited to watch. Chronicling the entire project, and even including a handful of songs not on the final album, A Dog Called Money is Murphy's inspiring, expressionistic document of this unprecedented collaborative experiment.
Seamus Murphy grew up in Ireland, and is based in London. He is the recipient of seven World Press Photo awards for his work as a photojournalist documenting life in war-torn locales such as Afghanistan, Gaza, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Peru, and Ireland. His work in Afghanistan led to his 2008 book "A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan," which was made into a documentary in 2011. He has made films for The New Yorker and the UK's Channel 4, and his photographs have been published in numerous leading news publications nationally and internationally. He collaborated with musician PJ Harvey on her albums "Let England Shake" and "The Hope Six Demolition Project"; their 2015 book "The Hollow of the Hand" comprises his photography and her poetry. A Dog Called Money (2019) chronicles their experience traveling and gathering inspiration together between 2011 and 2014.
Sponsored by Capitol Hill Block Party, KEXP 90.3 FM, Tito's Handmade Vodka
- Director: Seamus Murphy
- Principal Cast: PJ Harvey
- Premiere Status: US Premiere
- Country: Ireland, United Kingdom
- Year: 2019
- Running Time: 90 minutes
- Producer: Isabel Davis, Katie Holly, James Wilson, Seamus Murphy
- Screenplay: Seamus Murphy
- Cinematographers: Seamus Murphy
- Editors: Seamus Murphy
- Music: Polly Jean Harvey
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: English
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Autlook Filmsales