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This review is from: Wings Of Desire  [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the most stunningly effective films to explore the afterlife and the reasons why we return I have ever seen. Furthermore it is beautiful, engrossing and thought provoking
The film is set in a war scarred Berlin. It shows the world of the spirits - souls - who are shown as trenchcoated pigtailed angels. Their world is eternal, without colour, without emotion, without time. They talk of the events of history in no order, just scenes they have recorded in notebooks. They can be everywhere and nowhere. Their job is to listen to the thoughts of human beings and try to comfort them, and to encourage the efforts humans make to learn and grow [many scenes are shot in a public library where there are large numbers of angels encouraging the `students']. They also listen to and support the peace makers and the philosophers - a number of scenes are of an angel's care for an old man who is both.
But angels cannot interfere or intervene, only come in dreams. There is one dramatic scene of a suicide, where the angel tries to comfort and fails. Only at this point does the angel show any emotion - he simply screams NO........
The story is of one angel who becomes fascinated - not love because an angel does not love - with a beautiful trapeze artist and makes the decision to become mortal. Once mortal he experiences the faults of humans [he is duped over the money he is paid for his angel's coat] but he also experiences love, music, taste, touch, the simple joy of a life, the adventure, the challenge.
A spiritual feast