Wings of Desire

Wings of Desire 12A

All the Stage's a World


Please note: This was screened in Jan 2019

Wim Wenders
Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander
125 mins, 1987, West Germany | France
Primary language:

"This film was very influential to me as a young woman. It seemed to reach back from our modern life and touch the memories and cost of the war. Whilst melancholic, it gave a profound hope that things could change if we only had the bravery. It is hypnotic and beautiful - and romantic in a truthful way. You have to give in to this masterpiece, marvel at the astonishing footage of Berlin and weep for a Europe that is still so divided. Perhaps we could all do with some angels at the moment?" - Emma Rice, Artistic Director, Wise Children

One of cinema's most hauntingly beautiful city symphonies, Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire transcends concrete barriers to explore a Berlin of the imagination. A dispassionate angel stands atop a statue on a winter morning, watching over Berlin, he desires nothing more that to be human. His name is Daniel (Bruno Ganz) and he renounces his pastoral care of the city's sad and lonely (and the immortality that goes with it) to find love with trapeze artist Marion.

Like Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death the afterlife in Wings of Desire is a world in monochrome. Only the living can see in full colour and it is their lives, with their moments of sorrow and joy, that Wenders captures so eloquently. A film about the wall and the fall, it's full of astonishingly hypnotic images (courtesy of veteran cinematographer Henri Alékan) and manages effortlessly to turn Wenders' and Peter Handke's poetic, literary script into pure cinematic expression.