Mar 30th 2023

Join aclaimed filmmaker Deborah Stratman for the Chicago premiere of her latest film LAST THINGS. Presented in partnership with the 33rd Onion City Experimental Film Festival.

Deborah Stratman : LAST THINGS

“Fuses the heart of a poet with the mind of a scientist.” – Chris Stults, ArtForum

Award-winning filmmaker and School of the Art Institute of Chicago alum Deborah Stratman’s (BFA 1990) latest film is a profound exploration of the past and future of Earth through one of its most elemental materials—rocks. Meditating on our planet’s dramatic physical and biochemical evolution, Stratman weaves together sci-fi and sci-fact to imagine a time where life endures but humans have disappeared. Featuring a breathtaking array of sources, including J.-H Rosny’s turn-of-the-century speculative fictions about rock-like organisms, interviews with renowned geologist and environmental activist Marcia Bjørnerud, revelatory micro photography, and earthly observation, LAST THINGS asks us to ponder our place in this cosmic history and among the innumerable life forms our planet has produced. Stratman will be joined by her research collaborator, the writer Sukhdev Sandhu, to discuss the ideas and questions that informed the project.

Presented in partnership with the 33rd Onion City Experimental Film Festival as the festival’s official opening night screening. The Onion City Experimental Film Festival is a production of Chicago Filmmakers. The festival runs from March 30 to April 5.

2023, USA, 50 minutes plus discussion
Format: 16mm on digital
In French and English with English subtitles



Deborah Stratman makes films and artworks that question power, control, and belief, considering how places, ideas, and society are intertwined. She regards sound as the ultimate multi-tool and time to be supernatural. Recent projects have addressed freedom, surveillance, broadcast, sinkholes, comets, raptors, orthoptera, levitation, exodus, evolution, sisterhood, and faith. Stratman’s work has been exhibited and awarded internationally for the past three decades. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at the University of Illinois.

Sukhdev Sandhu is the author of London Calling: How Black and South Asian Writers Imagined A City (HarperCollins), I’ll Get My Coat (Book Works), Night Haunts (Verso), and Other Musics (MoMA). His writings—on documentary and international film, experimental music, and migrant aesthetics—have appeared in journals such as Film Comment, Frieze, Artforum, Art in America, Wire, 4 Columns, The Guardian, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. He is an associate professor at New York University where he also directs the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture.



Tickets are free for SAIC students, $5 for SAIC/AIC faculty and staff, and $12 for the general public. Unless otherwise noted, SAIC student tickets are released five days prior to showtime. Tickets must be picked up in person from the Gene Siskel Film Center box office. A student ID is required.

The Film Center is fully ADA accessible. Theaters are hearing-loop equipped. CATE events are presented with real-time captions (CART). For other accessibility requests, please visit or write

For current COVID-19 protocols, please visit the Gene Siskel Film Center’s COVID-19 page.

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