You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


"Stroke" is a one of the strongest entries in the mushrooming category of medical emergency docus. Musician Boris Baberkoff's brush with death leaves him strongly motivated to go through the rigors of rehab and return to his profession. Pic's inspirational character and happy ending could entice broadcasters to give it a go.

With: Boris Baberkoff, Katarina Peters.

A moving, very personal account of the filmmaker and her young husband who suffered a near-fatal stroke soon after they were married, “Stroke” is a one of the strongest entries in the mushrooming category of medical emergency docus. Like film producer Gil Rossellini in “Kill Gil,” musician Boris Baberkoff’s brush with death leaves him strongly motivated to go through the rigors of rehab and return to his profession. Pic’s inspirational character and happy ending, together with its deeply expressive imagery, could entice broadcasters to give it a go.

Film has won a spate of pries at Leipzig and other docu fests.

Katarina Peters, a Berlin-based filmer, is visiting New York with her recently wed 33-year-old cellist husband Boris when he collapses and is rushed to intensive care. In the darkest moments, when he is able to hear but not move or communicate, Peters reaches for her DV camera. After a risky airlift back to Germany and gruelling months of physical therapy in a clinic, he recovers sufficiently to return home and begin learning the cello all over again.

Peters’ background in shorts and installations stands her in good stead turning the absorbing medical material into a probing slice of hard-lived life and symbolic dream sequences. It is this artistic dimension that lifts “Stroke” onto another plane.

Peters additionally had the good fortune to work with the lovable, highly watchable Baberkoff. Introducing his extended family of Hungarian-Bulgarian musicians early on, she places his exuberant character in context and preps an emotional peak when a tape of Mozart brings him “back to life” in the hospital. Ironically, she is much harder on herself, ruthlessly exposing her own feelings and sense of loneliness, misery and exhaustion as the months wear on and her bank account bottoms out. Yet her loving dedication to Boris repeats the film’s leitmotif that life is a very, very powerful thing.

Editor Friederike Anders gets things off to a lightning fast start and keeps them moving without lingering or commiseration. A midfilm grant allowed further shooting in beautifully lensed 35mm, to which the rougher DV footage adds a sharp edge. Baberkoff’s own dramatic score offers proof of his remarkable recovery and undimmed talent.



Production: A Katarina Peters Filmproduktion in association with ZDF/Das Kleine Fernsehspiel. Produced, directed, written by Katarina Peters.

Crew: Camera (color, 35m/DV), Peters, Christopher Rowe, Roger von Heereman; editor, Friederike Anders; music, Boris Baberkoff. Reviewed at Dubai Film Festival (Destination Documentary), Dec. 15, 2005. Running time: 111 MIN.

With: With: Boris Baberkoff, Katarina Peters.

More Film

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Box Office: 'Us' on Track for Second-Highest Debut of 2019 With $67 Million

    Jordan Peele’s “Us” is on its way to scaring up one of the biggest debuts of 2019, with an estimated $67 million from 3,741 North American locations. Should estimates hold, “Us” will be able to claim several milestones: the highest debut for an original horror movie (the biggest launch for any horror pic goes to [...]

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content