Wings of Desire, a Review by Miriam Silver

There have been many movies that have attempted to illustrate the spiritual side of this world, and from time to time, there will be a review of some of these films. Here's a favorite of mine.

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Amid the poetic cinematic angles, narrative and context, the film flows at a dream-like pace as it introduces the viewer to a reality in which very few are privy. This 1987 picture shot in Germany and directed by Wim Wenders, presents a provocative look at our immortal protectors. The film portrays us as people sleep walking through our lives, lost in a dream world, with the Angels as observers looking on from the outside. All the while, the film moves from black and white to color and back again - color as they enter the physical world, black and white as we look on from the perspective of the Angels.

Angels move about the world listening to the trailing thoughts of the masses, offering them touches of inspiration and a network of unseen support. One particular Angel, Damiel, begins to long for the experience of the physical. Though our everyday pastimes seem rather mundane to us, these same experiences are likened to a feast for our winged companions. The smudge of newsprint, the frigid cold, the smell of coffee, or enduring moments of loss and loneliness - to an angel, this is all poetry. In fact, Damiel and his friend Cassiel keep a list of small, innocuous actions they witness day to day on their travels. Damiel suddenly gets lost in his desires of becoming a part of the physical experience, and while overseeing a woman he has grown very fond of, his desire and longing becomes so strong that it brings him into our world. He "dies" in his world and is "reborn" into the physical realm where he sees every object, every gesture, every action as an exhilarating and sensual experience.

The movie intertwines images of old Germany during the war as it looms like an ongoing nightmare; the shadows of the past still haunting their present lives and playing havoc with their memories. Actor Peter Falk plays the role of himself, an actor who comes to Germany to play a part in a movie, and also becomes the catalyst for inspiring Damiel to choose his new life. This is a wonderful film and has become a spiritual cult classic over the years, presenting a unique look at what it must be like to be the one wearing the wings.