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Hot Docs 2015 Review: Uncertain

Probably the most affecting documentary at this year’s Hot Docs, Uncertain seems to be almost comedic at first. An abundance of Welcome to Uncertain signs, the Uncertain Post Office, the sheriff stating that nobody comes across Uncertain, population 94, by accident suggest a broad comedic Doc.

While Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands’ film remains funny in parts, some of the driving sequences where Henry Lewis sings along to dirty songs on the radio are bizarrely laugh-inducing, but the film is at times quite difficult to watch. The action hits too close at times, and a fireworks scene in particular feels downright frightening.

In fact, the film at times seems to be too much of a downer, of inhabitants never being able to make it out of Uncertain, and the mood seems too dark, (and some scenes with bloodshed are far more difficult for a passive audience to handle).

But then come the weevils.

This film runs the gamut of emotions. Uncertain is sure to elicit a reaction in one way or another. There is a reason that the film won the Best New Documentary Director award from the Tribeca Film Festival. This movie should propel Sandilands and McNicol into the top tier of documentarians. Of this, we are certain.

[star v=45]