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WINGS OF DESIRE (HIMMEL ÜBER BERLIN, DER)

WINGS OF DESIRE
Scene from "Wings of Desire" (photo courtesy of Filmmuseum Berlin/Deutsche Kinemathek)

The sky over war-scarred Berlin is full of gentle, trench-coated angels who listen to the tortured thoughts of mortals and try to comfort them. One, Damiel, wishes to become mortal after falling in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, Marion. 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, WINGS OF DESIRE 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 into the real world to pursue a life with Marion.


Wim Wenders was born in Düsseldorf in 1945. After discovering his love for cinema in Paris, he attended film school in Munich from 1967-1970. Also active as a photographer and writer, he has made more than 50 films since 1971 all over the world. A selection of his acclaimed films includes: THE GOALKEEPER'S FEAR OF THE PENALTY (1971), ALICE IN THE CITIES (1973), IN THE COURSE OF TIME (1976), THE AMERICAN FRIEND (1977), HAMMETT (1982), THE STATE OF THINGS (1982), PARIS, TEXAS (1984), WINGS OF DESIRE (1987), UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD (1991), FARAWAY, SO CLOSE! (1993), LISBON STORY (1994), THE END OF VIOLENCE (1997), BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB (1998), THE MILLION DOLLAR HOTEL (2000), THE SOUL OF A MAN (2003), LAND OF PLENTY (2004), DON'T COME KNOCKING (2005), PALERMO SHOOTING (2008), PINA (2011), CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE (2013), THE SALT OF THE EARTH (2014), and EVERY THING WILL BE FINE (2015).
Genre Fantasy, Drama, Love Story
Category Feature
Year of Production 1987
Director Wim Wenders
Screenplay Peter Handke, Wim Wenders
Cinematography Henri Alekan
Peter Przygodda
Juergen Knieper
Heidi Luedi
Cast Curt Bois, Peter Falk, Otto Sander, Solveig Dommartin, Bruno Ganz
Producers Anatole Dauman, Wim Wenders
Production Company Road Movies Filmproduktion/Berlin, in co-production with Argos Film/Paris, in cooperation with WDR
Length 128 min
Format 35 mm, color, b&w
Dubbed Versions French, Italian
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions Chinese, English, French, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
Festivals Cannes 1987, Sydney 1987, Locarno 2007, Mar del Plata 2010, Milwaukee 2013, Festroia 2014, Zlín 2015, Sofia 2017, Hong Kong 2018, Sofia 2018, Zurich 2018, Sao Paulo 2018, Premiers Plan Angers 2019
Awards Best Director Cannes 1987, Grand Prize Sydney 1987, Guild Award in Silver 1987, 2 European Film Awards 1988, 2 German Film Awards 1988, Bavarian Film Award 1988
German Distributor Basis-Film Verleih/Berlin

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