The Most Unknown

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Belgium | 2018 | 88 minutes | Ian Cheney

This globetrotting documentary takes a scientific look at the unknown. Come along as nine scientists from different disciplines independently explore the universe's greatest mysteries such as the nature of time, the origins of life on earth, and the existence of extraterrestrial life.

Science has illuminated many mysteries of the universe, such as how the human body works, the laws of motion, and the fundamental forces of nature. But as this latest documentary by the Peabody Award-winning Ian Cheney (King Corn, 2008) suggests, we've barely scratched the surface regarding the greatest mysteries, such as the nature of time, the origins of life, the existence of extraterrestrial life, and what lurks at the bottom of our oceans. Rather than come up with answers, The Most Unknown is concerned with the process of discovery itself. This globetrotting documentary follows the exploits of nine scientists who are working independently on elusive topics such as detecting "dark matter," defining human consciousness, and exploring extremely hostile environments that are still capable of harboring microbial life. To Cheney, the most fascinating aspect of science is the initial drive to lay a finger on the intangible. "Perhaps putting aside the usual questions—What's the answer? What does this mean for me?—provides a strange new window into what propels scientists so deep into the unknown," Cheney told the film's producers at Motherboard/Vice Media. Filled with stunning visuals that illustrate the esoteric concepts being investigated, The Most Unknown, created with the help of advisor filmmaker Werner Herzog, will carry viewers on an epic journey of discovery that will long outlast the film's running time.

Director Biography
Ian Cheney grew up in New England, attending Yale University for both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees. His documentary King Corn (2008) was given a George Foster's Peabody Award in 2009. His other documentaries include the SIFF 2014 festival hit, The Search for General Tso. Cheney also co-founded FoodCorps, an Americorps farm-to-school program.

Sponsored by KNKX, WatchGuard Technologies

  • Director: Ian Cheney
  • Principal Cast: Anil Seth, Axel Cleeremans, Jennifer Macalady, Davide D’Angelo, Luke McKay
  • Country: Belgium, Costa Rica, Italy
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 88 minutes
  • Producer: Ian Cheney
  • Cinematographers: Emily Topper, Michael James Murray
  • Editors: Daniel Quintamilla, Ian Cheney
  • Music: Simon Beins, Ben Fries
  • Filmography: Bluespace (2015); The Search for General Tso (2014); The City Dark (2011); Truck Farm (2011); The Greening of Southie (2008)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Abramorama