Film / Wings of Desire

A 1987 film by Wim Wenders originally called Der Himmel über Berlin (lit: 'The Heavens Above Berlin').

The film depicts two angels wandering in Cold War era Berlin and listening to the thoughts of humans, among them an old man looking for the now-destroyed Potsdamer Platz and recalling the good times he used to have there; Peter Falk As Himself; and a lonely French trapezist, whom one of the angels falls in love with.

A sequel, Faraway So Close, was made in 1993. The first film received a very loose American remake, City of Angels, in 1998.

This film provides example of:

  • Arc Words: The "Lied vom Kindsein", with its repetitive structure, appears throughout the movie.
    Als das Kind Kind war...
  • As Himself: Peter Falk plays more or less himself (to the point where children call him "Columbo"), an American actor filming a movie in Berlin. He's also actually a former angel himself.
  • Big "NO!": Cassiel's reaction to the suicide is an anguished "Nein!"
  • Children Are Special: Only children can see the angels (although a few adults can sense their presence).
  • Defector From Paradise: An angel falls in love with a human and chooses to become human himself in order to be with her, leaving Heaven.
  • Deliberately Monochrome : The film is shot that way because the angels don't see colours until one of them becomes human.
  • Everyone Looks Sexier If French: A trapezist? Sounds sexy. A French trapezist? Sounds goddess.
  • Foreign Remake: Remade as City of Angels
  • Guardian Angel: Downplayed. The angels provide comfort but can't or won't directly intervene in human affairs (as with the suicide).
  • Invisible to Adults: The angels.
  • Knife-Throwing Act: At the children's circus.
  • Lady in Red: Marion when eventually meets Damiel as a human wears a lavish red dress.
  • Meaningful Name: The old man who describes himself as a storyteller (Curt Bois) is identified in the end credits as "Homer".
  • Mind Reading: The angels can read the thoughts of the humans they encounter.
  • Our Angels Are Different: Damiel and Cassiel only sometimes have wings and otherwise look like two ordinary middle age men. Also, their powers are limited and both (especially Damiel) are tired of being angels rather than human.
  • Pinocchio Syndrome: Both angels at the beginning discuss how they'd like to be human for a change; one of them has his wish come true.
  • Reality Has No Subtitles: In the English release, the dialogue of a young Spanish girl, a Japanese woman and a Pakistani woman are left untranslated.
  • Scenery Gorn: The zone near the Berlin Wall are nothing buy gloomy.
  • Scenery Porn: Indeed Berlin is the true protagonist.