Upstream Color

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Upstream Color

Shane Carruth (2013)

12A Certificate


Our Score
The second feature from Shane Carruth, the director of Primer, is an abstract, experimental science-fiction thriller shot in a spare, stark style that will get under your skin, one way or another. It hinges on a mysterious figure (Thiego Martins) who infects a young woman (Amy Seimetz) with a parasitic worm that makes her susceptible to a form of hypnosis, and while she is in this state he steals all her life savings. Carruth, who directed, wrote, produced, scored and co-edited the film, also takes the role of her husband who tries to help her unravel what is happening to her. The story is unclear and yet it isn't illogical. Carruth relies on deft edits and heavy sound design to stir emotion and create tension, but in the end, he doesn't offer any answers to the questions raised. Oddly beguiling, sometimes beautiful and always enigmatic, this independent production was a hit at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, but it will divide viewers.


A woman is kidnapped by a thief, who uses a drug to brainwash her so she will obey his every command. She recovers from the experience and later forms a relationship with a man who has suffered similar experiences. Together they try to piece together the truth about what was done to them and how. Sci-fi drama, directed by and starring Shane Carruth, with Amy Seimetz.

Cast & Crew

Kris Amy Seimetz
Jeff Shane Carruth
The Sampler Andrew Sensenig
Thief Thiago Martins
Orchid Mother Kathy Carruth
Orchid Daughter Meredith Burke
Peter Andreon Watson
Lucas Ashton Miramontes
Monty Myles McGee
Director Shane Carruth
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: MetrodomeGuidance: A sex scene, some swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 30 Aug 2013