Artist Projects

The Illinois Parables


Deborah Stratman

The Illinois Parables is an experimental documentary combining a series of regional narratives questioning the roles that doubt and mysticism play in social ideology. Mythic histories of violence, atomic breakthrough, utopias and vigilante justice comprise a suite of Midwestern parables. This film gathers sites and events that evoke the spiritual vis-à-vis the political. The locations under investigation are those where the boundaries between the rational world and the supernatural becomes tenuous. Throughout the film, trajectories of faith and technology intermingle, suggesting linkages between scientific and religious abstraction.

Project Updates

  • premiered at Sundance Film Festival in Janurary 2016, followed by a European premiere at the Berlinale, and screenings at True/False Festival, 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival where it received the “Stan Brakhage Award”, Full Frame Documentary Festival, Oak Cliff Film Festival, Dallas, Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival, Portugal and DokuFest, Prizren, Kosovo.

    Additional screenings:
    Conversations at the Edge, Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL – April 2016
    Headroom Screening Series, Film Scene, Iowa City, IA – April 2016
    World on a Wire: 12 Films, 12 Filmmakers, Princeton University, NJ – April 2016
    Block Cinema, Evanston, IL – May 2016
    Kunstverein München, Germany – July 2016 (one month run, 2 screenings daily)

    Upcoming festivals:
    True Orleans Film Festival, New Orleans, LA – September 2016
    64th San Sebastián Film Festival, Zabategi-Tabakalera, Spain – September 2016
    54th New York Film Festival, Projections – October 2016
    60th BFI London Film Festival, Experimenta – October 2016
    Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente de La Plata Festi-Freak, Argentina – October 2016
    American Film Festival, Wrocław, Poland – October 2016
    RIDM / Montreal International Documentary Festival – November 2016
    Filmmaker Festival, Milan, Italy – December 2016

    Upcoming theatrical screenings:
    Union Cinema, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee – September 15, 2016
    a one-week run @ Anthology Film Archives, NY – November 16-22, 2016
    Redcat, Los Angeles, CA – November 21, 2016