West Germany | Wim Wenders | Bruno Ganz, Peter Falk
Two angels, Damiel and Cassiel, glide through the streets of divided Berlin, observing the bustling population, providing invisible glimpses of hope to the distressed but never interacting with them. Then something extraordinary happens, Damiel falls in love with lonely trapeze artist Marion. The angel longs to experience life in the physical world, finding with some words of wisdom from actor Peter Falk (playing himself) that it might be possible for him to take human form. In sublimely beautiful black and white, this is a profoundly moving film about love.
Screening as part of Cinema Unbound: The Creative Worlds of Powell + Pressburger, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network. bfi.org.uk/powell-and-pressburger.
The power of love here on Earth clashing with the ethereal is explored in these two films in dialogue with each other. In both A Matter of Life and Death and Wings of Desire, we encounter beings of the spiritual realm who are remote and at odds with the grubbiness of life, and both at a turning point in world history – the battles of World War II and Cold War Berlin. What have humans done to themselves and how can they be redeemed? Both films find solace in love. In this dreamy double bill, big ideas and grand vistas are gloriously depicted on the big screen.