Function: Not functioning

By Jo Phillips

For many of us it is hard to understand how one of the most powerful countries in the world managed to pick such a divisive president, Donald Trump. Shock waves rang out when many of us living outside of the states woke to find the horror show that had been unraveling over many months had become reality. Yes, the USA had voted this man to run their country. As we watch this unfold from across the pond we are left wondering, how on earth this happened? What made a country buy into such a scary man to run their world?

A great way to understand this may well be to watch the film Uncertain. A little insight into the town Uncertain in Texas, so small that as one person puts it “you’ve got to be lost to find it”. A 94 resident town built around a vast swampy lake, the towns only source of potential livelihood, which is slowly but surely being chocked to death by aquatic weeds.


The film meanders around lake Uncertain via three of the towns residents: an ex-convict obsessed with a giant boar he wants to kill, who he has named Mr Ed after the talking horse because the snout of the boar is so long it looks like a horse on profile; a young man who suffers with diabetes, big on ideas but small on prospects; and a fisherman in whose boat we often meander around the lake listening to his philosophies on life in a small town and his regrets of his actions from 30 years ago. All three lives help highlight the plight of not just those in Uncertain but the lives of many living in the underbelly of capitalism in modern America. With little prospects and little support, it is a scary place for many living with minimal social security and poor health care.


Winner of the Tribeca Film Festival’s Albert Maysles Documentary Director Award, the film is a sad, slow, yet warm and at times disarmingly funny portrait of the literal and figurative troubled waters of Uncertain, Texas. From award-winning directors Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandilands, UNCERTAIN is a debut capturing a vivid cast of characters as compelling as any fiction. This is a great entry into understanding why America finds itself with a president as divisive as Trump.

UNCERTAIN – Film Trailer from Lucid Inc. on Vimeo.

Uncertain is on at the ICA

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