Wings of Desire marked Wim Wenders’ “homecoming” and was his first film in Germany after an eight-year stay in America. The film’s main characters are guardian angels; benevolent, invisible beings in trench coats, who can hear the thoughts of mortals and attempt to comfort them. One of them, Damiel, falls in love with beautiful trapeze artist Marion and wishes to become human, even if it means renouncing his immortality. Peter Falk, playing himself, a former guardian angel who lived through Damiel’s imminent leap out of eternity, encourages him to take the step.
The film is narrated from the point of view of the angels, who see the world in black and white. Only when Damiel becomes human does the world of colours and tastes reveal itself to him. He is forced to abandon his old friend Cassiel to loneliness.
Wings of Desire was honoured with the Best Director Award in Cannes and received the Filmband in Gold Award in Germany, as did the film’s legendary cameraman Henri Alekan. The film has achieved cult status all around the world and was remade under the title City of Angels, featuring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan in the lead roles. (Wim Wenders Stiftung. A Foundation)
Germany (Federal Republic from 1949) / France 1987, 128 min
Hans Martin Stier
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