A lovelorn, sad-eyed angel, Damiel, played by Bruno Ganz, longs to be mortal. Marian (Solveig Dommartin) a trapeze artist in a small circus could be the answer.
Wim Wenders’ masterpiece owes a little to Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life as it’s almost an inversion of the story, but it owes more to the rebuilding of Germany in the eighties. Berlin is like an extra character in this film, battered, torn and yet, still upright.
Peter Falk plays a wry version of himself, an American outsider, but it’s the inner thoughts of the German people – lost; troubled, scared, longing, hopeful or learning – that anchor the film in humanity. And Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Crime and the City Solution have wonderful gig scenes.
Monochrome into colour – colours as a metaphor for awareness – make this more than magical realism. It’s poignant, life-affirming and timeless. Wenders’ film is a soothing balm, now as always.