The Illinois Parables

Deborah Stratman
USA 2016
60 min

Deborah Stratman’s essay film traces the history of “America’s most average state” from the seventh century to the mid-1980’s, all weaved together from an inescapably present-day vantage point. THE ILLINOIS PARABLES is a dense collage of references and viewpoints. Stratman digs to work through the occult, buried and folkloric associations of these charged landscapes. There are some wonderful flourishes here: the painted lines of a tourist-tailored car park at the foot of a Cahokia mound; text from the Indian Removal Act abruptly superimposed over a serenely snowy forest; the haunting moan of a nearby train accompanying the image of a mural depicting the Cherokees crossing the Ohio River in 1838. In its fascination with history’s losers, and in the recurrent attention it gives to monuments and memorials, it brings to mind PROFIT MOTIVE AND THE WHISPERING WIND (2007), John Gianvito’s hour-long adaptation of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” In many ways this is a state-specific version of those works. (Michael Pattison)


  • C. Felton Jennings II - Ravenwolf
  • Joshua Frieman - Enrico Fermi
  • Anna Toborg - Wanet McNeill
  • Deborah Stratman
  • Deborah Stratman
  • Deborah Stratman
  • Deborah Stratman
  • Okkyung Lee
  • Olivia Block
  • Daniel Verdier
  • David Gatten
  • José Oubrerie
Pythagoras Film

Deborah Stratman

16 mm
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