We are over the moon to host a screening of THE ILLINOIS PARABLES, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and has gone on to sold out screenings at Berlinale, Ann Arbor, True/False, and Chicago’s Conversations at the Edge screening series.
Headroom Screening Series is a roving microcinema that collaborates with local venues to curate screenings and other media-related events and performances. It is always FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
With filmmaker, Deborah Stratman, in attendance!
The Illinois Parables
A suite of Midwestern parables that question the historical role belief has played in ideology and national identity.
2016, 60 min, DCP
An experimental documentary comprised of regional vignettes about faith, force, technology and exodus. Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois. The state is a convenient structural ruse, allowing its histories to become allegories that explore how we’re shaped by conviction and ideology.
The film suggests links between technological and religious abstraction, placing them in conversation with governance. Locations are those where the boundaries between the rational and supernatural are tenuous. They are “thin places” where the distance between heaven and earth has collapsed, or more secularly, any place that bears a heavy past, where desire and displacement have lead us into or erased us from the land. What began as a consideration of religious freedom eventually led to sites where belief or invention triggered expulsion. The film utilizes reenactment, archival footage, observational shooting, inter-titles and voiceover to tell its stories and is an extension of previous works in which the director questioned foundational American tenants.
The Parables consider what might constitute a liturgical form. Not a sermon, but a form that questions what morality catalyzes, and what belief might teach us about nationhood. In our desire to explain the unknown, who or what do we end up blaming or endorsing?
Deborah Stratman is a Chicago-based artist and filmmaker interested in landscapes and systems. Much of her work points to the relationships between physical environments and human struggles for power and control that play out on the land. Recent projects have addressed freedom, expansionism, surveillance, sonic warfare, public speech, ghosts, sinkholes, levitation, propagation, orthoptera, raptors, comets and faith. She has exhibited internationally at venues including MoMA NY, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, Mercer Union, Witte de With, the Whitney Biennial and festivals including Sundance, Viennale, CPH/DOX, Oberhausen, Ann Arbor, Full Frame and Rotterdam. Stratman is the recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships, a Creative Capital grant and an Alpert Award. She teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS: the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, and Little Village Magazine.
This visit made possible by the Perry A. and Helen J. Bond Fund for Interdisciplinary Interaction.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or firstname.lastname@example.org