Where to Watch "Upstream Color"


Directed by

Shane Carruth

Lila Sommers
Lila Sommers
· 6 min read

Who's in it?

Amy Seimetz

Amy Seimetz

Andrew Sensenig

Andrew Sensenig

Thiago Martins

Thiago Martins

Carolyn King

Mollie Milligan

Mollie Milligan

Myles McGee

Ashton Miramontes

Andreon Watson

"Upstream Color" is a thought-provoking and enigmatic science fiction film released in 2013, directed by Shane Carruth. This visually stunning and emotionally resonant movie takes audiences on an introspective journey through themes of identity, connection, and the mysterious interconnectedness of life.

Release Date and Director: "Upstream Color" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2013, and was directed by the multitalented Shane Carruth, who is also known for his work on the mind-bending film "Primer."


The film opens with Kris (Amy Seimetz), a young woman who becomes the victim of a bizarre and disturbing experiment involving a mysterious blue substance and a parasitic worm. The experience leaves her disoriented and traumatized, erasing her sense of self and personal memories.

Kris's life takes an unexpected turn when she meets Jeff (Shane Carruth), a man who has also been through a similar ordeal. As they navigate their shared trauma, an inexplicable connection forms between them, drawing them into a complex and metaphysical exploration of their pasts, identities, and the nature of human connection.

As Kris and Jeff unravel the mystery of their experiences, "Upstream Color" invites viewers to contemplate the boundaries of identity, the intricacies of memory, and the profound impact of shared experiences on the human soul.

Where to Stream

United States (US):

There are currently no streaming offers in the US.

  • Streaming Options: None
  • Buying Options: Apple TV, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Microsoft Store
  • Free Options: None

Australia (AU):

There are currently no streaming offers in the AU.

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  • Buying Options: Google Play Movies, Microsoft Store, YouTube, Quickflix Store
  • Free Options: None

United Kingdom (GB):

There are currently no streaming offers in the GB.

  • Streaming Options: Arrow Video Amazon Channel
  • Buying Options: Amazon Video, Apple TV, Google Play Movies, YouTube, BFI Player
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Germany (DE):

There are currently no streaming offers in the DE.

  • Streaming Options: Sooner, MUBI, MUBI Amazon Channel, Realeyz Amazon Channel
  • Buying Options: Apple TV, Sooner
  • Free Options: None

Brazil (BR):

There are currently no streaming offers in the BR.

  • Streaming Options: MUBI
  • Buying Options: Apple TV, Google Play Movies
  • Free Options: None

Spain (ES):

There are currently no streaming offers in the ES.

  • Streaming Options: Filmin
  • Buying Options: None
  • Free Options: None

Canada (CA):

There are currently no streaming offers in the CA.

  • Streaming Options: None
  • Buying Options: Apple TV, Google Play Movies, Microsoft Store, YouTube
  • Free Options: None

Significance, Themes, and Why You Should Watch:

"Upstream Color" is a visually mesmerizing and intellectually challenging film that delves into philosophical and existential themes. It explores the fragility of human identity and the ways in which shared trauma can forge deep connections between individuals. The film's dreamlike narrative and haunting atmosphere draw viewers into a mesmerizing and emotionally charged experience.

This film is not for those seeking a conventional Hollywood blockbuster but rather for those who appreciate cinema as a medium for artistic expression and philosophical exploration. It challenges audiences to engage with complex ideas and emotions, leaving them with a lingering sense of wonder and contemplation.

Production Details:

Shane Carruth, in addition to directing the film, also wrote, produced, edited, scored, and even acted in "Upstream Color." This level of creative control allowed him to craft a film that is uniquely his vision. The movie was made on a relatively low budget, with Carruth's dedication and innovative approach to filmmaking shining through in every frame.

Filming took place in various locations in and around Dallas, Texas, with a focus on creating a distinct and evocative visual style that complements the film's enigmatic narrative.

Reception and Awards:

Critical Reception: "Upstream Color" received widespread critical acclaim, with many reviewers praising its mesmerizing visuals, thought-provoking storytelling, and the emotional depth of its performances. The film was celebrated for its audacious and ambitious approach to filmmaking.

Audience Reception: While "Upstream Color" may not be for everyone due to its abstract and unconventional narrative, it has garnered a dedicated following among cinephiles who appreciate its artistic merit and philosophical depth.

Awards and Nominations: The film received several awards and nominations at film festivals, particularly for its direction, cinematography, and original score, showcasing the recognition of its artistic achievements.

Trivia and Fun Facts:

  • The film's narrative structure is intentionally fragmented and non-linear, requiring viewers to piece together the story's puzzle-like elements.
  • Shane Carruth's background in mathematics and engineering influenced the film's intricate and intellectually challenging narrative.
  • The hypnotic soundtrack, composed by Shane Carruth himself, adds to the film's eerie and atmospheric quality.

In conclusion, "Upstream Color" is a cinematic experience that challenges viewers' perceptions and invites them to engage with complex themes of identity and human connection. Shane Carruth's artistic vision and dedication to storytelling shine through in this enigmatic and visually striking film.

If you're looking for a thought-provoking and visually captivating cinematic journey, "Upstream Color" is a must-see for those willing to explore the boundaries of traditional storytelling.

Lila Sommers

About Lila Sommers

Lila is your media maven with a passion for the extraordinary! Spot her at the local bookstore or crafting her own stories on lazy Sunday afternoons. From indie flicks to hidden gem tracks, Lila's knack for weaving words and tunes is unmatched, making her your ultimate companion in the exciting world of media and entertainment.

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