The missing scenes are substituted by a voice-over narration. One can only glimpse at the possibilities of what might have happened between the characters behind closed doors, which would have allowed us to judge more accurately the film's success, or failure - and Phoenix's performance.
Would we still be talking about this film two decades later, had it been completed and had it not been forever labelled as 'the last film from River Phoenix'? Given Phoenix's previous work, talent and potential, Dark Blood may well have drifted into obscurity had he continued his career - a minor footnote in an extremely strong filmography. But since he only worked on a dozen films in his life, finally being able to watch Dark Blood is a great privilege.
The 2013 Berlin Film Festival runs from 7-17 February. For more of our Berlinale coverage, simply follow this link.