The Turin Horse

Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky


Opening narration:

”In Turin on January 3, 1889,
Friedrich Nietzsche steps out of the
door of number six Via Carlo Alberto,
perhaps to take a stroll, perhaps to
go by the post office to collect his mail.
Not far from him, or indeed very removed from him,
a cabman is having trouble with his stubborn horse.
Despite all his urging, the horse refuses to move,
whereupon the cabman…Giuseppe? Carlo? Ettore?…
loses his patience and takes his whip to it.
Nietzsche comes up to the throng
and puts an end to the brutal scene of the cabman,
who by his time is foaming with rage.
The solidly built and full-mustached Nietzsche
suddenly jumps up to the cab
and throws his arms around the horse’s neck sobbing.
His neighbor takes him home,
where he lies still and silent for two days on a divan
until he mutters the obligatory last words:
“Mutter, ich bin dumm,”
and lives for another ten years, gentle and demented,
in the care of his mother and sisters.
Of the horse… we know nothing.”


The Turin Horse (A torinói ló)
Directors: Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky
155 min
Hungary, 2011

For Nietzsche on his Birthday

Vincent van Gogh, The Potato Eaters (De Aardappeleters), 1885. Oil on canvas, 82 cm × 114 cm, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

Congratulatory note:

”The eternal return is Repetition, but the Repetition that selects, the Repetition that saves. The prodigious secret of a selecting and liberating repetition.”

– G. Deleuze, Nietzsche par Gilles Deleuze, PUF, Paris 1965/2007, p. 40.