Wings of Desire

Germany | 1987 | 128 min. | Wim Wenders

One of the most beloved films of all time, Wim Wenders’ Berlin-set magnum opus stars Bruno Ganz as an angel who falls in love with a lonely trapeze artist. But in order to be with her, he must relinquish all heavenly duties and privileges. Presented in a new 4K restoration and 5.1 sound mix.

Shortly before the Berlin Wall fell, filmmaker Wim Wenders conceived his masterpiece, a symphonic ode to a divided city. Two angels, Damiel (Bruno Ganz) and Cassiel (Otto Sandler), watch over Berlin’s inhabitants, inspiring their dreams, overhearing their thoughts, comforting the lost and forlorn. Though invisible to plain sight, there are those, like an American movie star (Peter Falk), who can sense their presence. On a visit to a tumbledown circus, Damiel encounters Marion (Solveig Dommartin), a trapeze artist who performs in angelic drag, and falls in love. Desperate to connect with her, Damiel considers relinquishing his celestial existence and become human, allowing him at last to fully experience its multitudes: from the simple pleasure of feeding a cat to death itself. Shot by legendary cinematographer Henri Alekan, the camera sweeps and soars over the city’s skyline, beautifully capturing Berlin from uniquely divine vistas. Taking a cue from The Wizard of Oz, the film renders scenes from the angels’ perspective in evocative black-and-white, shifting to spellbinding color when in the human realm. Writing about Wings of Desire in his Great Movies series, Roger Ebert observed: “It creates a mood of sadness and isolation, of yearning, of the transience of earthly things.… It is a beautiful film.”

Dan Doody

  • Original Language Title: Der Himmel über Berlin
  • Director: Wim Wenders
  • Principal Cast: Bruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin, Otto Sander, Curt Bois, Peter Falk
  • Country: Germany
  • Year: 1987
  • Running Time: 128 min.
  • Producer: Anatole Dauman, Wim Wenders
  • Screenplay: Wim Wenders, Peter Handke
  • Cinematographers: Henri Alekan
  • Editors: Peter Przygodda
  • Music: Jürgen Knieper
  • Filmography: Perfect Days (2023), Until the End of the World (1991), Paris, Texas (1984)
  • Language: German, French, English
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • US Distributor: Janus Films