Wings of Desire : A Rare Experience

Essay by sleeptodreamUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, July 2004

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When Director Wim Wenders decided to create the movie that would serve both as a tribute and a celebration of human life, he may have said to himself, "When there is a need to emphasize the beauty of something, what more effective way is there other than to make one feel another's profound desire for it?"

The result is "Wings of Desire," a film which makes its human viewers appreciate their own lives by making them feel the intense longing of an angel to live. What is quite remarkable about it, aside from this admirable goal of proving human life to be exquisite and ultimately, desirable, is that it achieves this through the extraordinary interplay of all the production aspects of the film.

Foremost, the film consists of many short yet powerful glimpses into lives of several human beings - an old Holocaust survivor, a young prostitute, a suicidal man.

But these are all seen in a different light, because they are shown through the eyes of Damiel (Bruno Ganz), an angel who watches over the city of Berlin and its inhabitants. He is limited to being a passive observer : he cannot experience what they go through, and he does not possess human vulnerability, strength, and ability to love. And so for him, both the positive and negative emotions that human beings go through are wondrous; the viewers, seeing through his perspective, are influenced to feel the same.

Further emphasis on this sensitive and compassionate view of life is made possible through the script. Wim Wenders and Peter Handke created each line as if they are all poetry - soothingly lyrical and pleasurable. As a result, a surreal and meditative atmosphere is created, where everything is depicted not in a conventional, prosaic manner, but in an extraordinarily...