Faraway So Close

Director: Wim Wenders

Having wowed audiences worldwide with Wings of Desire, the story of an angel (Bruno Ganz) who forsakes heis wings for a pretty trapze artiste in a divided Berlin, Wenders here returns with a film abouth Ganz’s one-time angelic partner, Cassiel (Sander), who also finds himself sucked into humanity in a now-united Berlin.
While the first film concentrated on romance, this has more heavenly and earthly intrigue in mind as Cassiel spars with a (perhaps) demonic counterpart Emit Flesti (Dafoe) and gets mixed up with the family of a German-American black marketeer (Horst Buchholz) whose nazi father fled the city at the end of World War II. It opens dizzyingly in black and white with Cassiel perched above the city, accoompanied by Kinski, then eases into its struggling story as the angel follows various plot threads around Buchholz’s past and present.
The gun running gets murky at times, having suffered when Wenders’ cut almost and houtr out of the film, but there’s an astonishing heist sequence, and a piece of boat-bound action which pays off like a Joel Silver movie. Falk returns from the first film, playing himself as a Fallen Angel, while other casting coups include Lou Reed and Mikhail Gorbachev. This occasionally veers into pretension, wavers between perfect black and white and striking washed-out colour, and discusses politics and eternity, but is filled with moments that will stay with you forever.

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