Human, all Too Human: The Turin Horse and Cinematic Struggle to Survive ⇒ Kirno Sohochari

Year 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche was staying in Turin, probably for a short relaxation and most probably medicated his restive mind, which was insisted him tied up his solo-mind for the sake of his own self-solidarity and peace. Despite his denial to the Omnipotent Semitic God, his restless quest for permanently sterling Overman (Übermensch in German, that mean Superman, Superhuman, Hyperman etc.) and especially a closer conversation with his self-made ideal… Nietzsche was not normal mood in Turin. An inborn introvert and quizzical mind of the century was not normal at all, probably he was never being normal in his life. Commentator of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” troubled by his ill health and enigmatic feelings; melancholic lonesome and hostile attitude was frequently disturbing him on those days of Turin.


However, the business and cultural Centrum of North Italy was normal and animated in life just like previous days. The city was youthful by its jovial citizens, festive cultural activities, busy ship-traders and chirping hansom cabs. Nietzsche, assuredly stated far behind the jingle and rampage tone of city life. He stated alone, drowned his whimsical mind in divan as a lonely survivor. Yeah, the speaker of Overman enclosed himself very lonely, mystically envied and obviously aloof to the surface.

Yonder reality made him manic to believe that human’s traditional belief and customary sagacity is not enough to medicate people’s suffering;…

A polarization happened between the city and its lonesome survivor. Turin was not necessarily existential for him and he was not existential for the city, but both of them were truthful to carry the burden of scheduled existence. One was constantly purposeful to the flamboyant noise and ballyhoos to suck the aim of life; other was persistently purposeful to the aim and value of purpose, which seemed temporal, inconsistent, uncanny and capricious to him, which made this man very uncertain to guess.

nietzsche_2_1One day the uncertain Nietzsche came out from his abide for an uncertain reason. He was coming out to drop the letter in post box or maybe there could another reason that motivates him to take a minute walk in the busy street of Turin. The self-made introvert was walking like a rambler with his lonely restless mind, which is not used shakes people’s hand and partakes their rampage for daily bread-and-butter. Anyway, that day appeared little different to him, the inborn rambler seen him in a crowd, where the horse cabman tried to move his stubborn horse by urging and whipping.

It’s not an easy task to move the stubborn, even tougher to move a domesticated stubborn, who is taught to carry the order of his master. Domesticated being usually carried order without hesitation, because he is ordained to carry order always, but a sudden moment may appear in life when the most obedient domestic could refuse his master to carry the order. Domestic being always trained by the trainer carts the order; he is destined moves forward and genuflected to obey the command with obvious silence and unquestioned obedience.

That is the basic difference between wild and domestic. First is instinctive and promiscuous as like nature. He is autonomous in action, live this life according his natural instinct and will-force, dependable to the self-operated mind; if his mind tells him to move then he moves and if it is not he will stand still for the next command of his mind. Whereas second is opposite. He is modest, educated and enthusiastic, always prepared grips his master’s order that he achieved in his lesson learning days as a domestic creature. When his master tells him to move he will move, otherwise waits with modesty for next command. Second is not natural but useful to avoid wanton behavior, second is best for accustomed-stability, solidarity and accordance.

If it is fact then meaning of existence meant nothing; yeah, no freedom of choice left there for human being to prove his ultimate perfection of making world new…

Despite this, it’s an unavoidable fact that every being is part of nature, where wild and domestic both have carries natural frequency in their body-machine. They germinate in nature, carried inherit natural features, despite their differences that one is wild and another is civilized through artificial lesson and knowledge division. However, the division is not a guarantee that civilized being is always reacts same as he learned or taught by his master. Unexpected moment could possible by sudden when the modest being may refuse to carry the certain orders and that is called Uncertainty.

It’s a threat, because it can destroy the prearranged orders, can demolished beautiful patterns of an orderly organized society. Unexpected wild moment is lie behind in every creature’s mind. It can wake up by sudden moment to deny the approval that wildlife manner is not applicable to sagacious society, where everybody’s rule is predestined according their usability in a society.


Uncertainty is mother of anarchy, whereas anarchy being the eternal desire of return to origin; where life is wild natural and promiscuous; where everybody moves by self-demand and self-desire, where freedom of choice ruled by self-operated command and it is strongly indomitable or protected under the laws of natural survival. Friedrich Nietzsche, the criticizer of Darwin’s principle, refuter of God’s existence and a stubborn announcer of His death, suddenly discovered him in the crowd where a horse cabman tried to move his stubborn horse. The pity coachman was urging and whipping the domestic animal to move forward as it always obedient to move before.

The air of Turin was certain like other days, sunlight was typically certain, and daily rampage of life was certain too, except the stubborn horse; he suddenly denied moves forward regard the great obedience to his master. Nietzsche could easily avoid the scene, could turn back his face to the scene, but he acted opposite by enlarged his arms to the horse’s neck, started sobbing and cackling like a lunatic.

He looked agitated and helpless himself, deeply disturbed by the uncertain act happened in front of his whimsical existence. Crowd was silent for the minute but the stubborn horse was standing still, ignored everything in its surface. It was very pathetic for Nietzsche that his rational mind just unable to motivate a domestic being moves forward. Beating trick of coachman already proved useless on that moment and now the knowledge trick seemed equally futile there moves a nature-created horse forward!


Only God knows why the horse denied moving further. Only He knows why Nietzsche acted like a lunatic, forgetting his social status and scholarly rational position. His landlord luckily was in crowd who take him home. Rest is pathetic. The great mind of modern century was sitting two days in his divan just speechless and silent, not feel any urge to talk with anybody.

History tells that, his self-operated rational machine was mutely sitting in divan muttering mother tongue in German, “Mutter, ich bin dumm!” which means, “Mother, I am stupid!” History also speaks, the great mind was alive for another ten years after the incident, but was alive in silent and demented; be stayed here for another ten years but out of connection to the world. Nietzsche’s mother and sister were the only communicator and caregiver in his ten years solitude.

Why Nietzsche covered himself in silence? Why he endangered his self-operated body-machine in dementia? Readers, the question is certainly vital if we imagine his silent and speechless face, consider his quest and conversation about existential purpose of life. Many among us still think about it and lot of them already tried to dive in his mind to write a biography or shoot the biopic. Significant curious minds until now tried entering Nietzsche’s whimsical mind to realize his existential grief, suffering and lunacy. He is yet relevant for his poetic self-conversation, for his nihilist quandary, his denial to the religious God and lunatic declaration of “God’s end”.


Nietzsche is memorable for the quest of “God’s replacement”, for his incredible controversial desire to make new definition of Great, his self-made idealism and idolatry to the Overman. He is essential for his rhetoric and cynical stance to the orderly ordered society, and memorable for his emotional outburst to the society, and yet significant for his introvert pride and perversion. This man could criticize in many aspects; he could be criticized for his ambiguous obsession of Superhuman could analyze and discussed for the cynical metaphors he discovered to medicate the changeable morality of society bandaged human, and obviously, anybody could criticize him for his dual-standard platonic hope and remorse.

He deserves deep investigation and rational criticism, it is continued now, and will be continue at future, but what about the horse cabman? What happened to him after Nietzsche’s exit? Did he control his horse to be obedient again? Did he back to his home again? What happened after his return to the home?

History is silent about the horse and cabman, because they are certainly not considerable character of any philosophic discourse. The cabman and his stubborn horse is a footnote to the giant screen of philosophical quandary. They are immaterial for historian, an in-signified signage of majority we used to call them plebeian; Yeah, they are the public,… common, ordinary, minor and trackless existence for the giant landscape of human “self-searching” expedition.

Uncertainty is mother of anarchy, whereas anarchy being the eternal desire of return to origin…

We know many things about Nietzsche’s lunacy and nihilist conundrum, but very little concerned about coachman and his stubborn horse. The cabman and Nietzsche is having different personality but both of them are identical in one point that is, —they are human! Everybody knows Nietzsche destroyed his own self by acute illness and lunacy and he did this only to think about individual’s fate in a knowledge-oriented society.

Today’s world knows him very well, significant number of individual always tried to analyze or dig out his single word with great passion and curiosity, because they believed Nietzsche’s lunacy could help them discover the new domain of ideas and ideologies. They dig Nietzsche without accepting the reality that, his intelligent texts and pragmatic mind of horse cabman are identical at end. Both of them are identical to the fact that all action of human denotes a one action and that is, “Human, All Too Human”.

De facto Nietzsche threw him in danger due to the dissection of existential validity. His super critical mind pushed him climbs the peak where mind lost its own and cannot recognize itself clearly as an actor of existential game. When we deeply divided thinking the root-cause of existential validity, when we consider the cycle of birth and death, struggle and adjustment, grief and suffering in light of unknown destiny, it endangered our mind by eternal fear and unrest and provoked us to keep silent or act like a demented frantic.


Nietzsche did not accept that human existence will end by death or reincarnated after death for God’s judgment. That means human being is nothing but a winding clock, ticked by automated nature or something like Semitic reward-giver and punish-maker creator. Means is human being himself not his master, not the decision maker and be the designer of his own self. If it is fact then meaning of existence meant nothing; yeah, no freedom of choice left there for human being to prove his ultimate perfection of making world new. Nietzsche designed his mind to embrace the infinity where everything rotates in a cycle of return, which is not entirely but bit closer to the concept of ancient Vedic reincarnation cycle.

… wildlife manner is not applicable to sagacious society, where everybody’s rule is predestined according usability and class…

Deliberate consideration of human supremacy where individual spirit appears supreme to decide his best, is not a problem solving solution. Nietzsche’s super critical mind pushed him to think like this, because his footstep touched the shore where he finds nothing that could sink down his restless mind in serenity. He simply finds nothing to guide and rescue human solo-entity from the terror of struggle, misery, insanity, malice and menace of death.

Yeah Nietzsche once climbed altitude and gets nothing for his serenity… there was No Leader, No Reformist, No Eminent, No Avatar, No God and even No Substance at all. None was substantial there that might consider preventive to medicate the fearful misery of life and existence indeed. There was no incarnate-human being in altitude who can guide humankind thinking them more effective than the transcribed God.

Nietzsche found none who can provoke self-oriented being that, human being self be the owner of his own self and he is the architect of his ultimate choice and freedom in life. Deprivation of majestic potential or grandeur provoked him build the self-imagined Great, who can stand on such a height where none could trouble him, from where he can see the indignation among mankind and able to medicate them with grand serenity.

Hope is the last hope to survive, but it is tough to stand on hope when life being lackluster and tedious by hardship effort to ensure daily bread-and-butter.

Today’s world well concerned about the fate of Nietzsche’s Grand Majesty. His majestic Overman was platonic more than pragmatic or political. Adolf Hitler once wrongly treated him Superhuman to decide human’s fate in earth; rest is not obscure to anybody. Nietzsche is one of few who criticized largely for his anarchy-exhorted discourse and criticized for God-devoid platonic Overman refrain.

He criticized largely but never noticed with care that an extreme solitary feeling silently fluxing in his declaration of “God’s end”, which reminds a void world, where God is existed in a barren surface with His fake omnipotent supremacy and reluctant for dialogue to anybody. What be the profit if omnipotent is unable to converse, if He is greedy for complement, eager to reward obedient and punished disobedient, not only that, what be the profit if He failed to prove His omnipotent serenity for all Human?


That is the pain of life; no serenity existed anywhere in the world, which is existed as yet it is… battle against disparity, exploitation, deprivation, domination, envious cruelty, brutish fight and moral-deviation of humanity. Where is God, where His supremacy to medicate people’s suffering? Nietzsche once distressed by the question and came out to search the tranquil omnipotent; he came out to make dialogue with Him and failed to find his potential existence in anywhere. Yonder reality made him manic to believe that human’s traditional belief and customary sagacity is not enough to medicate people’s suffering; rather it should better stands on deny everything convicted by accustomed belief to the useless potential.

Otherwise, burden of life encircled in immedicable grief and suffering, where real world appeared an apocalyptic reflection of decadence; in where a horse suddenly realized that he would be back to the same old world that is accustomed by hostile wind to destroy everything resonates here. The domestic being was reluctant to back the monotony where surface is tedious, life is tougher for survive and hostile wind is apocalyptic omits everything to the surface.


The stubborn horse was averse to return his master’s abide, because noisy hostile wind is the only repercussion of life there. Dialogues between human is limited there due to the lunatic wind. It is limited between few numbers of residents, like as his master and only daughter and sometime the nearest neighbor; all of them look lifeless owing to the sandy wind.

… but a sudden moment may appear in life when the most obedient domestic could refuse his master to carry the order.

The horse was loath to return because residents of that remote village just bare themselves according the movement of wind-tick, where his master and his daughter eat boiled potato in morning with silent face, menu be the same at lunch and repeated in dinnertime again. Horse was stubborn to move because his old master is tried to fight with the hostile wind; this man wake up to the sleep in morning, watch the wind’s motion, saddled his horse for departure to work and soon comeback owing to the bad windy weather.

Life is stagnant and boring there, where a tardy struggle against apocalyptic wind is only the reality, where silent faces depended on to the hope that this apocalypse will stop one day and life then back to its normal rhythm again. Hope is the last hope to survive, but it is tough to stand on hope when life being lackluster and tedious by hardship effort to ensure daily bread-and-butter. Millions of people in everyday and in everywhere are doing the same job against the hostile and apocalyptic sandy storm. Millions of them daily wait for the day with hope that sandy storm will stop one day and they will start a normal life again.


However, who can say the wind will stop or not? Rather, it would better to stand still as a stubborn horse denies everything apocalyptic. Readers, that was the end of Nietzschean silence and be the beginning of Béla Tarr’s mesmeric cinematic silence, where apocalyptic wind in a remote village decided to take no rest until destroyed everything that is responsible for wind-ticks day-night, tasteless dine, tireless struggle, resilient hope and tedious wait that frantic wind will stop one day for the sake of existence.

Béla Tarr tried to tell a new story in light of Nietzsche’s lunatic incident happened in Turin. Yeah, he started his narrative with Nietzsche’s silence but the speaker of Zarathustra is not a protagonist of this cinematic narrative. Tarr’s camera tried to capture the horse instead Nietzsche, his camera focused the horse cabman and his only daughter and tried to photographed human’s daily burden after the incident.


He is probably the first man who told a story in different context, where apocalyptic wind is protagonist and horse cabman played an antagonist role, where Nietzschean silence deconstruct by the new silence that, — living or struggling in a hostile surface is even tougher than philosophic paradox or ambiguity of existence. That’s why Béla Tarr shoots the 2 hours and 16 minutes long silence only taken it by 30 takes. Tarr shots his narrative in black-and-white with partial dialogue (only the monologue of Bernard tell something about the motive of life and the movie), because conversation being futile in apocalyptic environment, because silent movement is more effective there to feel the true reality of life.

He stated alone, drowned his whimsical mind in divan as a lonely survivor. Yeah, the speaker of Overman enclosed himself very lonely, mystically envied and obviously aloof to the surface.

Real life is largely absurd than any philosophic conundrum; it is more resilient to the silence of death and terror of apocalyptic hostility. Everything here is against of human, everything is personally hostile to human, and perhaps the personal could be God, Family, Community and maybe the Nature, —a great operator of this existential body-machine.

None is friendly in Tarr’s cinematic screen; regarding the hostility, each of everybody knows human being is destined to survive; he might stubborn for survival, because hostility is natural and nature is for human, where he ought to find his technique to survive. He cannot escape from the reality of survive, and that’s why the horse cabman and his daughter returned to the hostile village in last scene to resist.


However, Béla Tarr not say anything about Nietzsche’s silence, talks nothing about his lunatic fate, even so he talks all about Nietzsche. Yeah, his apocalyptic silence befriends Nietzsche’s silence in cine-screen, that is “The Turin Horse” is a tribute to human resistance and lonely survival against calamity, it is dedicated to human, as Nietzsche once sacrificed his solo mind for human, since, he believed the world “Human”, in where everything is for “Human” and “all Too Human.


Movie Script: The Turin Horse

Storyline: In Turin, on January 3rd, 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 far 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 this 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.

It’s ready.
Go to bed.
Hey, you!
What is it?
Can’t you hear them either?
The woodworms, they’re not doing it. I’ve heard them for 58 years. But I don’t hear them now. They really have stopped.
What’s it all about, papa?
I don’t know.
Let’s sleep.
She lies back and pulls the blanket over herself.
Ohlsdorfer turns on his side and fixes his eyes on the window. The girl stares at the ceiling,
her father at the window. At times a tile can be heard crashing down from the roof and shattering noisily. The gale roars relentlessly around the house.


Come here!
Can’t you see she won’t move?
Stop it!
Come here!
It’s ready.
I’ve run out of brandy.
Would you give me a bottle?
Give him some…
– Why didn’t you go into town?
– The wind’s blown it away.
How come?
It’s gone to ruin.
Why would it go to ruin?

Bernard’s Monologue: Because everything’s in ruins, everything’s been degraded, but I could say that they’ve ruined and degraded everything. Because this is not some kind of cataclysm, coming about with so-called innocent human aid. On the contrary… It’s about man’s own judgment, his own judgment over his own self, which of course God has a big hand in, or, dare I say, takes part in. And whatever he takes part in is the most ghastly creation that you can imagine. Because, you see, the world has been debased. So it doesn’t matter what I say, because everything has been debased that they’ve acquired, and, since they’ve acquired everything in a sneaky, underhanded fight, they’ve debased everything. 

Because whatever they touch, and they touch everything, they’ve debased. This is the way it was until the final victory. Until the triumphant end. Acquire, debase, debase, acquire. Or I can put it differently if you’d like, to touch, debase and thereby acquire, or touch, acquire and thereby debase. It’s been going on like this for centuries. On, on and on. This and only this, sometimes on the sly, sometimes rudely, sometimes gently, sometimes brutally, but it has been going on and on. Yet only in one way, like a rat attacks from ambush.

Because for this perfect victory, it was also essential that the other side, that is, everything that’s excellent, great in some way and noble, should not engage in any kind of fight. There shouldn’t be any kind of struggle, just the sudden disappearance of one side, meaning the disappearance of the excellent, the great, the noble. So that by now the winners who have won by attacking from ambush rule the earth, and there isn’t a single tiny nook where one can hide something from them, because everything they can lay their hands on is theirs. Even things we think they can’t reach, but they do reach, are also theirs.


The heavens are already theirs, and theirs are all our dreams. Theirs is the moment, nature, infinite silence. Even immortality is theirs, you understand? Everything, everything is lost forever! And those many nobles, great and excellent just stood there, if I can put it that way. They stopped at this point, and had to understand, and had to accept that there is neither God nor gods. And the excellent, the great and the noble had to understand and accept this right from the beginning. But, of course, they were quite incapable of understanding it. They believed it and accepted it but they didn’t understand it. They just stood there, bewildered, but not resigned, until something, that flash on the mind, finally enlightened them. And all at once they realized that there is neither God nor gods. All at once they saw that there is neither good nor bad.

Then they saw and understood that, if this was so, then they themselves did not exist either! You see, I reckon this may have been the moment when we can say that they were extinguished, they burnt out. Extinguished and burnt out like the fire left to smolder in the meadow. One was the constant loser, the other was the constant victor. Defeat, victory, defeat, victory. And one day, here in the neighborhood, I had to realize, and I did realize, that I was mistaken, I was truly mistaken when I thought that there had never been and could never be any kind of change here on earth. Because, believe me, I know now that this change has indeed taken place.

Come off it! That’s rubbish!


She’s not eating!
She will.
You have to eat!
What’s that?
What’s happening?
A cart’s approaching.
Who are they?
Gypsies, I think.
What the fuck do they want here?
I don’t know but they’re coming this way!
The stinking rotten bastards!
What shall we do?
Go and chase them away!
What are you waiting for?
Get moving!
There’s water here!
Come and help!
Come and help, papa!
Come on, hey! Come and drink!
Hold the horse.
Here comes the girl. Here’s the girl.
Her eyes are like the devil’s.
Get away from here! Go away!
What are you doing here?
Get away from here!
– Come here. Come with us.
– I won’t.
I’m not going anywhere.
Come with us to America.
Are you deaf? Let me go!
I’m not going with you!
God forbid.
Come here.
I don’t care.
Let go!
Fuck you sons of bitches!
Get the hell out of here!
I’ll rip your guts out, for fuck’s sake!
Dirty rotten Gypsies!
This is for the water.
He’ll kill me! Papa!
Papa! Come on!
Just come over here, you worm!
We’ll be back!
The water is ours! The earth is ours!
You’re weak! You’re weak!
Drop dead! Drop dead!
Since in holy places
only those things are allowed,
the practice of which
the veneration of the Lord,
and everything is forbidden
that is not fitted for
the holiness of the place,
and since
holy places have
been violated
by the great injustice of actions
that have taken place
within them
that scandalize the congregation,
for this very same reason
no service unto the Lord
can be held there until,
through a ceremony
of penitence,
these aforementioned injustices
have been put to rights.
The bishop says
to the congregation,
“The Lord was with you!
“Morning will become night,
“night will be at an end…”
The storm continues to rage outside,
the wind still sweeps relentlessly
across the land from the same direction,
but now there is nothing
in its path to obstruct it.
Only a great cloud of dust
whipped up by the wind
rushes recklessly forward,
bone-dry dust and the ravaging nothing
that the wind rolls before it
as it rages unbridled
over the barren land.


– Come!
– What is it?
– Come quick!
– What’s wrong?
The well!
Cover it!
And the brandy?
Why didn’t you eat?
You’re not going anywhere…
At least drink a little water!
For my sake!
Pack up clothes, dishes, needle
and thread, things like that.
What for?
We’re not staying here. Pack!
Blankets, brandy.
Potatoes, too.
Get the handcart.
Come on!


What’s this darkness?
Light the lamps!
Why didn’t you fill it up?
It’s full.
Bring some embers!
What is all this?
I don’t know.
Let’s go to bed.
Even the embers went out.
Tomorrow, we’ll try again.
We can hear them groping their way
to their beds,
we can hear them lying down,
and pulling the blankets over them.
We can hear them breathing,
only their breathing can we hear.
Dead silence outside, the storm is over.
Dead silence falls on the house, too.


We have to eat.

Movie Script Link: The Turin Horse (2011) Movie Script: Springfield Blog


Film The Turin Horse: Directed by Béla Tarr; Cinematography: Fred Kelemen; Production: T. T. Filmműhely; Release date: 15 February 2011; Running Time: 146 minutes; Country: Hungary.

Youtube Link of the Film: The Turin Horse Directed by Béla Tarr;


Photo Credit: Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse…Cinema As Endgame; The Turin Horse; Google images of the Film The Turin HorseISAAC ADEN – NIETZSCHE’S HORSE; Quotes: az quotes;

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