The Turin Horse
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On January 3, 1889 in Turin, Italy, Friedrich Nietzsche steps out of the doorway of number six, Via Carlo Albert. Not far from him, a cab driver is having trouble with a stubborn horse. The horse refuses to move, whereupon the driver loses his patience and takes his whip to it. Nietzsche puts an end to the brutal scene, throwing his arms around the horse's neck, sobbing. After this, he lies motionless and silent for two days on a divan, until he loses consciousness and his mind. Somewhere in the countryside, the driver of the cab lives with his daughter and the horse. Outside, a windstorm… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This great poem on the end of the world is truly a film for the ages. It can't really be described, but only lived."
‑ J. Hoberman,
"It feels like the creation story in reverse -- a terrible, unavoidable walk into the dark."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"This film seems to imply that non-existence is preferable to existence. Some people feel that way, but I wish they would keep it to themselves and not inflict this on others through this kind of media."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"[Tarr's] most direct and overtly compassionate film."
‑ Kieron Corless, Sight and Sound
"Don't miss this two-and-half hour allegorical meditation on death. No, really."
‑ Tara Brady, Irish Times
"No movie could possibly live up to the monumental, forbidding grandeur of The Turin Horse's lengthy opening shot, but [Bela Tarr]... goes ahead and attempts the impossible, and comes frighteningly close to succeeding."
‑ Mike D'Angelo, L.A. Weekly
"Through Tarr's meticulous vision, these ordinary hardships take on cosmic weight; this is tedium vividly rendered."
‑ Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Chicago Reader
""The Turin Horse" is an existential provocation to its audience, demanding that we consider the effect of man's judgments against nature and ultimately against ourselves."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Rumoured to be his last picture, this reverently photographed monotony is closer to caricature than a final valedictory artwork."
‑ Siobhan Synnot, Scotsman
"So if The Turin Horse's bleak close also represents lights out for one of Europe's most extraordinary film artists, he exits the set with a truly sublime memento mori."
‑ Anton Bitel, MovieScope
""The Turin Horse" is a parable, which means it's both very simple and very weighty. It's not about event and emotion, but duration and endurance."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"An intentionally monotonous look at the lives of a farmer and his daughter. Strange events signal the end is nigh, but it approaches at the pace of a lethargic inchworm."
‑ Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
"Though a heavy and somnolent watch and not for all tastes, it has redeeming value for being so full of reality."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The themes are death, compassion and endurance, but it isn't clear how specific the allegory is. At the end, however, you feel - like the wedding guest buttonholed by the Ancient Mariner - that you've had an experience."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Little happens and everything that does is open to interpretation but feels like a gruelling reflection on a world at the end of time."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
More reviews for The Turin Horse on Rotten Tomatoes