The Turin Horse

March 31st, 2011


The Turin Horse

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A rural farmer is forced to confront the mortality of his faithful horse.

Release Year: 2011

Rating: 7.9/10 (2,798 voted)

Critic's Score: 80/100

Director: Béla Tarr

Stars: János Derzsi, Erika Bók, Mihály Kormos

1889. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed the whipping of a horse while traveling in Turin, Italy. He tossed his arms around the horse's neck to protect it then collapsed to the ground. In less than one month, Nietzsche would be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that would make him bed-ridden and speechless for the next eleven years until his death. But whatever did happen to the horse? This film, which is Tarr's last, follows up this question in a fictionalized story of what occurred. The man who whipped the horse is a rural farmer who makes his living taking on carting jobs into the city with his horse-drawn cart. The horse is old and in very poor health, but does its best to obey its master's commands. The farmer and his daughter must come to the understanding that it will be unable to go on sustaining their livelihoods. The dying of the horse is the foundation of this tragic tale.

Writers: László Krasznahorkai, Béla Tarr

János Derzsi - Ohlsdorfer
Erika Bók - Ohlsdorfer's daughter
Mihály Kormos - Bernhard
Ricsi - Horse


Official Website: Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 31 March 2011

Filming Locations: Budapest, Hungary

Opening Weekend: $9,145 (USA) (12 February 2012) (1 Screen)

Gross: $19,074 (USA) (19 February 2012)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Hungary's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012.

Bernhard: Theirs is the moment... nature, infinite silence.

User Review

Extraordinary and haunting film about the apocalypse...

Rating: 10/10

For most of the film's length we watch a father and daughter's sparse and bleak existence in a remote farmhouse, blasted by an eternal wind. Only a couple of visitors come to break the near-silent existence of this couple and their ageing horse. Out of this silence and the wind and the darkness, an apocalyptic vision of a fallen, corrupt world emerges.

It's a unique and haunting film, like a filming of a near-wordless play of Beckett, stained with an indelible sadness and regret that our world cannot be saved from darkness. Along with SATANTANGO and WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES, this is another masterpiece from Bela Tarr and his regular band of collaborators.


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