The Stream (1994)

| Short, Drama, War
A young mother has been forced to flee her home carrying her husband's aged mother on her back. The old woman cannot walk. In addition, there are three small children to care for. There is ... See full summary »


Garry Lane


Garry Lane

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Serafina Morrin Serafina Morrin ... Mother
Teresa Nawrot Teresa Nawrot ... Grandmother
Tomislav Potesak Tomislav Potesak ... Older son
Mario Potesak Mario Potesak ... Younger son
Ivana Potesak Ivana Potesak ... Young daughter


A young mother has been forced to flee her home carrying her husband's aged mother on her back. The old woman cannot walk. In addition, there are three small children to care for. There is no food in the middle of winter in the Bosnian mountains. Somehow she must get through the isolated mountain pass to a safe village. She cannot carry the old woman and the two smallest children as well. The young woman is faced with a terrible choice - either she sacrifices the old woman, or her children will die. We see that the old woman realizes this herself, and indicates to the daughter-in-law that she accepts her fate. The young woman then drowns the old woman in a mountain stream. The last image of the film is hopeful. We see the young woman, now carrying the children, arriving at a village. She knocks on the door of a house. Written by Garry Lane <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A glimpse of the full horror of the war in Bosnia, based on a true story. See more »


Short | Drama | War







Also Known As:

Der Bach See more »

Filming Locations:

Schluft, Brandenburg, Germany

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, Sonatina az 'Actus tragicus'-ból, BWV 106
Music by György Kurtág
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User Reviews

Comments by the Director of Photography, Peter Gray.
3 January 2002 | by petergraySee all my reviews


Why shoot CinemaScope for a production like THE STREAM? ....comments by the Director of Photography, Peter Gray.

Visually, the film follows a group of war refugees moving across beautiful, yet strangely hostile landscapes. CinemaScope adds a power to these scenes that is difficult to express in words. The format unleashes something deep inside us - something unconscious and intuitive.

Why use black and white? It creates a unique tension between a somber, almost hypnotic mood, which contrasts with a stark reality concealing unthinkable horrors. The feeling is somehow reminiscent of epic east-European cinema, which I think helps to place the story in its proper context. I think no one would deny that it would be another very different film, if it was shot in color. I have perhaps one regret about the decision to shoot black and white. I wonder if color would better remind us that it is all happening right now! It is the 1990's, it is a true story, and it is happening in our back yards. If you dare, you only need to stretch out your hand to touch it.

Modern cinema, almost by definition, seems to demand movement ..... both within the frame (mise en scène), through the frame (editing and rhythm), and of the frame (camera movement). In terms of camera movement, we used a lot of hand-held techniques, including some relatively exaggerated movements. This is perhaps a little unusual in the CinemaScope format, but I think it suits the underlying drama of the film. It feels right for a machine-gun montage of images mixed with heightened sounds to portray civilians making a desperate escape across once familiar surroundings, now turned battle field.

For other scenes, we made use of a dolly on tracks. As it turned out, I was not so happy with this approach. I think steadicam would have lent much more of the right feeling to the film. Out of respect for the story, the film needs to feel very real, immediate, almost documentary, in order to have the proper impact. But what is real after all? It is ironic that the real images of this war, the never ending barrage of television news "pulp", washes over us ineffectually. We need the power of cinema, a conscious manipulation of reality, to glimpse the full horror of the war in Bosnia.

Peter Gray, Amsterdam, December, 1993

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