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Aging Cuban musicians whose talents had been virtually forgotten following Castro's takeover of Cuba, are brought out of retirement by Ry Cooder, who travelled to Havana in order to bring the musicians together, resulting in triumphant performances of extraordinary music, and resurrecting the musicians' careers.
Visible only to those like them and to human children, Damiel and Cassiel are two angels, who have existed even before humankind. Along with several other angels, they currently wander around West Berlin, generally on their own, observing and preserving life, sometimes trying to provide comfort to the troubled, although those efforts are not always successful. Among those they are currently observing are: the cast and crew of a movie - a detective story set in WWII Nazi Germany - which include a sensitive and perceptive Peter Falk; an elderly man named Homer looking for eternal peace; and the troupe of a financially failing circus, which has closed early for the season because of those financial problems. One day, Damiel tells Cassiel that he wants to become human, to feel not only the sensory aspects of physical beings, but also emotional aspects. He embarks on this thought with the full realization that there is no turning back if he decides to do so. His thoughts are largely ... Written by
During the scene in the Berlin Library, Damiel leans over a young man who reads: "Ha'Aretz haita tohu-va-vohu". This is the second verse of the book of Genesis in Biblical Hebrew, and basically means "the land was in chaos". See more »
In one of the opening shots where the camera circles a tower, more like a radio transmitting one, the spinning helicopter blades can be seen at the top of the frame See more »
[in German, using English subtitles]
When the child was a child, it walked with its arms swinging. It wanted the stream to be a river, the river a torrent, and this puddle to be the sea. When the child was a child, it didn't know it was a child. Everything was full of life, and all life was one. When the child was a child, it had no opinion about anything, no habits. It often sat cross-legged, took off running, had a cowlick in its hair, and didn't make faces when ...
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Dedicated to all the former angels, but especially to Yasujiro, François and Andrej. See more »
Two angels named Damiel and Cassiel are onlookers on the lives of people in Berlin. Damiel longs to become human mainly because of a trapeze artist he has become drawn to. Both dote on how the world would look if they could see it with color, feel of things, and breathe air. The angels in Wim Wender's "Wings Of Desire" are separated by the rest of the world and see this world in black and white. They look upon the many sad happenings that occur, how people go about their daily lives. The angels take notes and share lifelong memories of people they have looked upon over the years. They can hear people's thoughts and how they feel about their lives. Damiel is the one the movie focuses on more. Cassiel understands Damiel's desire, but doesn't long for humanity iname way. The film isn't coy about the fact that being an angel could be quite lonely and sort of exasperating. The film's dialogue(mostly thought)from the people across Berlin are more lyrical. It's as if their thoughts are a daily constant of Shakespeare..a long tragedy of loneliness among other emotional longings. The trapeze artist, Marion, is quite a thinker and always feels as if someone has always been their to guide her through the paths of life. Peter Falk(Yep, Columbo)appears as himself playing in a film in Berlin. Many address him as that famous detective. He, like the children, can sense the Angels' presense around him..and there's quite an interesting reason why he can. The film is very pondering and haunting. Life is quite bleak. Berlin is a fascinating setting for a film like this. We often see what history has done to Berlin..the scars show such devastation, yet this brings an element that reaches out to you. We see that life goes on around the ruin..the devastation. The angels have seen that ruin first hand. The film has Cassiel following an old dying Jew. There's a particular scene I love which has the old man walking down ruined streets. He says to himself,"This can't be Potsdamer Platz." He continues to walk and remember the places that use to exist where only ruin reveals. This scene, among so many, define the film's elegant melancholy. The film really is an unforgettable gem. Towards the end, our angel Damiel makes a decision to accept a life as a human. This adds to the film's overall dilemma. I asked myself,"Are we taking things like smelling coffee, touching an apple, or simply watching the rain as it slides from a gutter for granted." The opportunities to exist and live should be appreciated somewhat. What if we are on the otherside of the spectrum? What if we had to look at others living and breathing and smelling? *****/*****
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