Close Up

15 December 2021: The Illinois Parables + Sensemayá


The multiple layers of history – the official, the mythical and everything in between –form the focus of this screening featuring the UK premiere of Colectivo Los IngrávidosSensemayá and Deborah Stratman’s much-acclaimed essay film The Illinois Parables. Though wildly different in their approach, both films speak to major themes and narratives of identity in the Americas, probing how particular archetypes and myths are rearticulated and reshaped across time.

The Illinois Parables
Deborah Stratman, 2016, 60 min

In The Illinois Parables, artist and filmmaker Deborah Stratman uncovers tales of disaster, dispossession and renewal in the oft-overlooked landscape of her Midwestern home state: from the expulsion of the Cherokee and other Indian tribes along the Trail of Tears in the 1830s; to the catastrophic tornadoes of 1925; to Macomb, where a number of homes inexplicably caught fire in the 1950s.

Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, 2021, 7min

Sensemayá is a shamanic composition, an ecstatic dance, and ritualistic spell from radical Mexican filmmaking collective, Colectivo Los Ingrávidos. Shifting from the poetic to the unsettling and the foreboding, Sensemayá contorts and repeats its patterns like an ancient snake, pulsating images that feel out of time, encompassing the past, the present and the future.

Curated by Emily Wright as part of the Film Studies, Programming and Curation MA at the National Film and Television School (NFTS).