Unfinished Sky is ‘The Polish Bride’, but in English. However, this story takes place in the outback of Australia. The old scenario has been thoroughly edited, but the starting point was maintained. Monic Hendrickx plays another battered woman, this time the Afghan refugee Tahmeena. She has escaped from two men who lock her up and rape her, she arrives bleeding at a remote farm where John (William McInnes) lives all alone, with his old dog. John is the type of man who likes to live alone. It is difficult for him to maintain contact with his environment due to past experiences. He takes care of Tahmeena and takes care of her, but can hardly speak with her. Still, he understands that she has fled from something and he instinctively hides her when a village hotelier and a police officer come looking for her. With the help of simple pictures from children’s books, he teaches her some English words and knows how to break the ice. He gradually understands that she is a traumatized victim of abuse by other local residents. John himself also has a traumatic experience with the death of his wife.
Despite the limited knowledge of each other’s language, a bond of trust grows between them. The way in which their relationship develops has been set up credibly. Despite their completely different backgrounds and the distrust that John has of everything and everyone around him, they can ‘talk’ to each other. A special effect is that Monic sometimes has long monologues in an Afghan language, not translated via subtitles. The viewer therefore has the same problem as John, who also gets a lot of words that he often cannot understand. Tahmeena finds photos that then force John to reveal his feelings and grief. These developments also have a purifying and therapeutic character for both of them. A large and difficult jigsaw puzzle with an unfinished blue sky plays an important symbolic role here. However, the men she escaped come looking for her and dramatic developments follow… ..
The style of filming is completely different from ‘The Polish Bride’. Where previously the emphasis was mainly on long, particularly beautiful and atmospheric shots of the Groningen landscape, there is now much more action and more talk. The extremely photogenic, empty and wide Australian outback has been optimally used. Although this farmer is also a ‘loner’ with a history, he is much less taciturn. Monic Hendrickx convincedly plays the role of the Afghan Tahmeena, William McInnes is the personification of the introverted single bitter man. The camerawork is of a high level.
With the knowledge of ‘The Polish Bride’, images and memories of it continue to bubble up. Still, it is possible to look at ‘Unfinished Sky’ in a neutral way. The story is edited in such a way that there is no repetition. What remains is a remake that has been successful as a film.