Unfinished Sky Peter Duncan

Unfinished Sky Peter Duncan
Based loosely on little seen Dutch film The Polish Bride, Unfinished Sky takes a decidedly more accessible and eventful stab at this tale of a taciturn farmer sheltering a woman who's escaped a brothel and her captors. Because this adaptation takes place in Australia, certain considerations needed to be taken into account regarding space, geography and politics, leading to the replacement of the Polish immigrant with an Afghani refugee named Tahmeena (Monic Hendrickx), who, interestingly enough, is played by the same actress that appeared in the original film. The character of John (William McInnes) also has a slightly different disposition, still being somewhat stolid and removed, but acting as a more willing participant in their relationship development to help push the plot forward. At its core, however, this is still a love story with themes of affirmation and rediscovery, as damaged people help each other find their way in a seemingly meaningless world. And this is where Unfinished Sky excels: showing two people developing a relationship by simple means, not speaking the same language nor having cultural similarities to expand upon. This overshadows some of the more grating machinations, such as the titular metaphor of a sky puzzle that John works on as a testament to his dead wife, and some of the awkward exchanges that occur when Tahmeena's captors show up looking for their "property." Similarly, Hendrickx's intense performance as an abused woman learning to live again helps compensate for McInnes's tendency to roll his eyes and sigh a little too pointedly, balancing things back into copasetic territory. The DVD includes interviews with all key members of the cast and crew, who discuss mainly what attracted them to the project, while the "Behind the Scenes" footage is literally just that, showing footage without narration. (E1)