Wim Wenders is a German director born on August 14, 1945 in the Rhine Province. Despite his clear love for art and literature as a child, after graduating from high school, he studied medicine at university. However, he dropped out midway to pursue a string of odd jobs, including being a painter, film critic, and journalist. Wenders’ foray into filmmaking began with his first feature film, Summer in the City, in 1970. He quickly became a staple of the New German Cinema Wave, a period of time in the 1960s to 1980s during which a wealth of independent German directors came to forefront of the filmmaking industry.
In 1987, Wim Wenders released a fantasy film entitled Wings of Desire, which tells the story of invisible angels who live in Berlin and comfort humans who lead distressed lives. One angel, in particular, falls in love with a trapeze artist and sacrifices his immortality to spend time with her. The film follows the angel’s arduous, yet heartwarming, transition into the human world.
Upon its debut at the Cannes Film Festival, Wings of Desire garnered positive reviews for its magical exploration of what it truly means to be a human being. Film critic Roger Ebert states that it “evokes a mood of reverie, elegy and meditation. It doesn’t rush headlong into plot, but has the patience of its angels.” The movie was ultimately a critical and financial success: it grossed $4 million at the box office and was nominated for a BAFTA Award in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.