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The Last Soul on a Summer Night

In 1919, Hart Crane said of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio: ‘America should read this book on her knees.  It is an important chapter in the Bible of her consciousness.’

Anderson’s modular novel -- a collection of interconnected short stories -- remains one of the highest regarded works of American literature to this day, yet has proved resistant to adaptation as a mainstream Hollywood feature.  That resistance continues in The Last Soul on a Summer Night (previously known as Chicago Heights), a starkly black and white, experimental, non-linear interpretation of the antique narrative.  The film takes the originally all-white, century-old rural stories and tells them with a predominantly African American cast in contemporary south Chicago, celebrating the universal power of the source while playing on its anachronisms. 


The Last Soul on a Summer Night is a series of inter-related vignettes that play out in the imagination of an elderly writer as he stares at the ceiling light in his bedroom. He senses that he is near death, and his mind has fractured. He does not know if the people he imagines are his creations, his memories, or his dreams, though we cannot help but sense that they are abstracted reflections on his coming of age and his relationship with his mother, who died when he was young. He also reimagines the lives of others he may once have known, like the community pastor, a favorite teacher, and the therapist who treated his mother. In his mind, they are all “grotesque.” They have an archetypal meaning to him, and all seem to manifest aspects of a struggle for identity that may have kept him alone throughout his life. 



Nathan Walker - Andre Truss

Elizabeth Walker - Keisha Dyson

Narrator / Doctor Reefy - Benny Stewart
Reverend Curtis Hartman - Jay Johnson
Sherwood Anderson / Older Nathan - William Gray
Wash Williams - Ron Jarmon, Jr.
Louise Trunnion - Simone Wilson
Helen White - Terah Jene Weddington
Kate Swift - Michaele Nicole
Dante Hard - James Barbee
Calla Hard - Raven Reeves
The Stranger - Jason Coleman
Tom Walker - Brian Harris
Margot Williams - Tovah Hicks
Mrs. Swift - Barbara Hogu
Elizabeth’s Father - Homer Talbert
Mrs. Hartman - Sherri Evans
Actress / Snow Angel - Mercedes Kane
Patient / Snow Angel - Leah Shortell
Margot’s Mother - Lynn Werth

Man on Gospel Hill - Thomas Fillmore
Dead Elizabeth - Lisa Hendrickson
Kim Ki-Duk - Lee Kim
Man in Snowstorm - Linsey Savage
Man in Forest Under the Church - Victor Collazo
Depression - Finnegan Klein-Nearing

Producer: Sanghoon Lee

Director: Daniel Nearing

Co-Producers: Seth McClellan,

Keisha Dyson, Daniel Nearing, Lisa Klein

Associate Producers: Mercedes Kane, Benny Stewart

Screenplay: Daniel Nearing, Rudy Thauberger

based on Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

Script Consultant: Keisha Dyson

Director of Photography: Sanghoon Lee

Editors: Elias Faulkner, Philip Larkin

Unit Production Manager:  Seth McClellan

1st Assistant Director:  Mercedes Kane

2nd Assistant Director: Leah Shortell

Original Music: Minister Raymond Dunlap

Communication & MarketingLisa Klein 

Still Photographer:   Dirk Fletcher / Dirk Fletcher Media Works

Graphics:  Lisa Klein / Pisa Design

Camera: Sanghoon Lee, Dirk Fletcher, Don Winter, Daniel Nearing

Sound Recordists: Leah Shortell, Elise Brown

Gaffer: Don Winter

Grip: Victor Collazo

Effects: Matt Pronger

Make-up / Effects Associate: Stephanie Portner

Locations Scout:  Lynn Werth
Production Assistant:  Robin Thompson


JK Kim
Reverend Larry McClellan
Rashidah Muhammad
Seunghyun Lee
Brittney McClellan
Chris Kane
Odelia Dunlap
Emma T. Dunlap Pope
Perry Dunlap
Emmett Garner Jr.
The Raw Footage Band
Adesuwa Obazee
Robert Culbreath
Ralonda Cohen
Eric Payne
Charmela Pettiford
Diamond Jones
Lendoria Jones
Mark Jackson
Sabrina Jackson
Denise Taylor
Mylan Reeves
Renee Reeves
J.A. Glass
Masahiro Sugano
Derrick Shelton
Michele E. Shelton
Wonda Dunlap
Sylvia Thornton
Martell PJ Willis
Greg Anderson
Andre P.L. Meekins
Caleb Dyson
Dwayne John Beaver
Eric Martin
James Howley
Bastien Desfriches Doria
George Cavelle
Paul Blough
Jason Bowen
Rhonda Jackson
Derek Tatsuo Nordstrom
Doug Nordstrom
The Chicago Transit Authority
Governors State University DPS
Paradise Bay

Shot on Location in Chicago Heights,
Lockport, Evanston, University Park, and Chicago, Illinois


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