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March 17–23, 2017

Chicago Premiere


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Film still: Uncertain Film still: Uncertain


Albert Maysles Documentary
Director Award
Tribeca Film Fest
Critics' Pick "Mesmerizing... a very fine film"
  —New York Times
"This remarkable observational documentary is exotic in the best sense... a hauntingly evocative portrait of its Southern Gothic-infused milieu"
  —Hollywood Reporter
4 stars "Wonder and horror stalk this remarkable documentary... a vivid, pungent ode into a world that is fast disappearing"
  —The Guardian
3 stars½ "A fantastic piece of observational filmmaking"
Recommended "Gorgeously realized and often funny"
  —NewCity Chicago

Uncertain is a visually stunning and disarmingly funny portrait of the literal and figurative troubled waters of Uncertain, Texas. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a site so-named, there is a lack of consensus about the Texas town's origin: whether the result of a surveyor's confusion when marking an early map, or a steamboat captains' belief that docking there was an impossible task. This 94-resident town is so tucked-away "you've got to be lost to find it".

Three Uncertain men make their own bids for survival looking to find a more certain future: a fishing guide with a thick, southern drawl and a dangerous past; a former addict with a vendetta against a local wild boar; and a young man decrying small town decay, but ultimately trapped by it. All the while, Uncertain's vast, swampy lake is being choked by an aquatic weed, upsetting the natural balance and is the town's only source of livelihood.

From award-winning director's Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands, Uncertain is an outstanding feature debut that offers a nuanced look at a quirky town and its vivid cast of characters during tumultuous change, which is as compelling as any fiction.

Directed by Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands, U.S.A, 2015, 82 mins.


  • Fri., March 17 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., March 18 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., March 19 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.-Thurs., March 20-23 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation