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Horse Opera

Still from the film "Horse Opera" by Moyra Davey. Through a circular aperture against a black background, we see a yellow birdfeeding station hanging off a branch. A small bird with a yellow head is sitting on the station, two others are flying around it.
© Moyra Davey
  • Director

    Moyra Davey

  • USA / 2022
    72 min.

  • Original language


The camera surveys country life – often through a circular aperture against a black background. Sometimes a turkey comes into view, sometimes a deer, sometimes the edge of a roof weighed down by snow; but the camera likes to look at horses most of all, piebald horses, white horses, chestnut-colored horses with red eyelashes, ponies with thick winter coats. It shows tails and rumps in close-up and is also interested in how their withers quiver. A slow voice is also heard, often in voiceover, reading out texts. They’re about parties in New York, about drugs, about dancefloor exuberance, about being amazed by other people’s great outfits, about the insecurity of not knowing how to move your body to a song. Every now and then, a woman in her 60s appears onscreen. Anyone with an idea of what Moyra Davey looks like will know it’s her.

A halting voice, pulsating parties, images of rural isolation, texts about conviviality, the older body and the hungry, young bodies: HORSE OPERA lives from contrasts, from images and sounds that diverge, from interference. Almost in passing, the film brings the melancholy to the fore generated by the pandemic years and the waning of physical abilities. (Cristina Nord)

Production Moyra Davey. Production company Moyra Davey (New York, NY, USA). Director Moyra Davey. Screenplay Moyra Davey. Editing Nicolas Linnert. Narrator Moyra Davey. Executive producer Moyra Davey.

Moyra Davey, born in Toronto, Canada in 1958, she studied photography before earning a Master of Fine Arts. She is active as a photographer, author and video artist. Her work has been shown at numerous international exhibitions in galleries and museums.

Films: 1990: Hell Notes (26 min.). 2006: Fifty Minutes (51 min.). 2009: My Necropolis (32 min.). 2010: Hujar / Palermo (4 min.). 2011: Les Goddesses (61 min.). 2014: My Saints (31 min.). 2015: Notes on Blue (28 min.). 2016: Hemlock Forest (41 min.). 2017: Wedding Loop (23 min.). 2019: i confess (57 min.). 2022: Horse Opera.

Bonus Material

Director's Statement, Essay, and Videos

  • Still from the film "Horse Opera" by Moyra Davey. Two horses, one white and one with white and brown spots, are standing on a field in front of a wooden house, looking in the direction of the camera. In front of them, a spiderweb spreads across the entire image.


    Rachel Valinsky on the communities of thought and practice that permeate Moyra Davey’s HORSE OPERA

  • Still from the film "Horse Opera" by Moyra Davey. A women on the left side of the frame is speaking into her phone through white earphones. There are mirrors on the right side and in the background, so that the woman can be seen thrice in the picture.

    Director's Statement

    Moyra Davey on the background of HORSE OPERA and the impossibility of entirely exiting the frame

  • Videos

    Moyra Davey shares video clips recorded during the production of HORSE OPERA

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur