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The Turin Horse (2011)
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The Turin Horse (2011)
"A torinói ló" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  31 March 2011 (Hungary)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,916 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 45 user | 166 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay)
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Cast

Credited cast:
János Derzsi ...
Erika Bók ...
Mihály Kormos ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Bernhard (voice)
Ricsi ...
Horse
Mihály Ráday ...
Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

horse | remodernist | bottle | stable | bed | See All (19) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| | | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

31 March 2011 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Le cheval de Turin  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,145 (USA) (10 February 2012)

Gross:

$53,690 (USA) (6 July 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Béla Tarr says that the film is about the "heaviness of human existence". See more »

Quotes

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

 
Brilliant final(?) film for Tarr
30 December 2011 | by (Portland OR) – See all my reviews

I can't organize my thoughts so I'm just going to spill them out and sort them out some other time. Although it is a shame (a tragedy) that Bela Tarr will make no more films after this, but perhaps it is a fitting end. A farmer (we assume... he has a horse but it's unclear exactly how he makes a living, if he does at all) and his daughter trudge joylessly through their monotonous routine. Getting dressed, schlepping water from the well, eating a meal of simply boiled potatoes, and for relaxation, staring out the window. Over the course of 6 days, we see -- in a manner mildly reminiscent of JEANNE DIELMAN -- the routine start to break down as some sort of vague apocalypse seems to be descending upon them. Life, what little is left of it, is draining out of the world. A neighbor delivers a monologue about the degradation of humanity, how the good people have quietly faded away while the rest debase everything they touch. A wandering pack of gypsies leaves the daughter ("eyes of the devil") a religious text. Is it these two particular people who are doomed, or being judged? Or all of mankind? Tarr, as usual, not only doesn't give answers, he doesn't even let you know if he's asking the question.

Which is to say, if you loved any of Tarr's previous four films, you will probably love this one, although it is his bleakest. The cinematography is, as one would expect, jaw-droppingly rich. From the opening shot of the horse defining the word "struggle", to Ohlsdorfer's sunken, skull-like eyes, to the spine-chilling image of the daughter's beaten-down face staring out the window, the film is loaded with stark, gorgeous, unforgettable visions. Mihaly Vig once again submits an incredible score, a funereal dirge that shares the soundtrack with the incessant howling wind. Tarr's films have a tactile effect, and here you can truly feel the bitter cold of the landscape and the house that surely does little to protect its occupants from the elements.

It's a haunting film, and perhaps Tarr's most difficult... although only a third the length of SATANTANGO, the repetitiveness gives it less forward momentum. But it completely worked its way under my skin. It's mesmerizing, thought-provoking, breathtaking. If Tarr makes another film, I'll be thrilled, but if he doesn't, at least he's left me some of the greatest works of art I've ever seen.


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