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Wim Wenders: WINGS OF DESIRE 1987 on Theorize Art



Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders
Peter Handke
Director of Photography:Henri Alekan

Peter Przygodda


Jürgen Knieper

Production Design:

Heidi Lüdi


Bruno Ganz
Solveig Dommartin
Otto Sander
Curt Bois
Peter Falk
1987 Cannes 

(Best Director)
1987 Gildepreis in Silver
(Best German Film)
1988 FELIX, European Film Prize
(Best Director)
1988 German Film Prize in Gold
(Best Director)
1988 Bavarian Film Prize


Wim Wenders
Anatole Dauman


Road Movies Filmproduktion/Berlin
Argos Films/Paris

128 min.

B&W and Colour
Original Title: 
Der Himmel über Berlin

Original Language:German


The sky over Wenders' war-scarred Berlin is full of gentle, trenchcoated angels who listen to the tortured thoughts of mortals and try to comfort them. One, Damiel (Bruno Ganz), wishes to become mortal after falling in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, Marion (Solveig Dommartin). Peter Falk, as himself, assists in the transformation by explaining the simple joys of a human experience, such as the sublime combination of coffee and cigarettes.
Told from the angel's point of view, the film is shot in black and white, blossoming into color only when the angels perceive the realities of humankind. Ultimately, Damiel determines that he must experience humanity in full, and breaks through in to the real world to pursue a life with Marion.
A hugely acclaimed and multi-award winning movie including Best Director for Wenders at Cannes 1987; which was remade in 1998 into City of Angels starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan.

Bruno Ganz (Damiel)

Song of Childhood
By Peter Handke
When the child was a child
It walked with its arms swinging,
wanted the brook to be a river,
the river to be a torrent,
and this puddle to be the sea.
When the child was a child,
it didn’t know that it was a child,
everything was soulful,
and all souls were one.....

Solveig Dommartin (Marion), Wim Wenders

Curt Bois (Homer), Otto Sander (Cassiel)
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Other recommended reading:
- Barry, Thomas F. "The Weight of Angels: Peter Handke and Der Himmel über Berlin." Modern Austrain Literature 23.3/4 (1993): 53-64.
- Caldwell, David and Paul W. Rea. "Handke's and Wender's Wings of Desire: Transcending Postmodernism." German Quarterly 64.1 (1991): 46-54.
- Green, Peter. "Germans Abroad: Herzog, Wenders, Adlon." Sight and Sound Winter 1987/88: 128-29.
- Helmetag, Charles H. "...Of Men and Angels: Literary Allusions in Wim Wender's Wings of Desire." Film/Literature Quarterly 18.4 (1990): 251-53.
- Hooks, Bell. "Representing Whiteness: Seeing Wings of Desire." Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics. Boston: West End Press, 1990. 165-71.
- Kolker, Robert Philipp and Peter Beicken. "Wings of Desire: Between Heaven and Earth."Wim Wenders: Cinema as Vision and Desire. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1993. 138-60.
- Paneth, Ira. "Wim and His Wings." Film Quarterly 42 (Fall 1988): 2-8. (Interview)
- Rogowski, Christian. "'Der liebevolle Blick'? The Problem of Perception in Wim Wenders's Wings of Desire." Seminar (Nov. 1993): 398-409.


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