The Illinois Parables

The Illinois Parables ★★★½

History emanating trough place. So concentrated. As far as Straubian materialistic histories of US goes, this is closer to Benning historical films (Deseret in particular comes to mind) than something in the manner of John Gianvito work even if it might at first seem closer to his larger canvas than Benning’s more focused one. There is a certain religious quality here, a sort of historical quest, than is established through editing that I didn’t expect to find. Stratman locates many notions of displacement and oppression in her histories, but she refuses to allow them to just move into each other. The film doesn’t treat history as stactic, but is also suspicious of the idea of progressive moment. Instead, the 11 parables presented are allowed to compete and collide with each other in manner that inform each other. As a foreigner, quite a few of Stratman’s can be obscure to me (I’m make multiple notes of “I need to research that”), I don’t know how different it plays to someone more acquitted with local history. Formally, there’s three central concepts, history, place and time, and the film is at best as illustration of the way histories reaches through time and the consistence of place.

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