What is the significance of rubbing your hands together to keep warm? What does it mean to lie? To feel pain? To experience the joys of music? To appreciate an interesting face? What is the difference between simply observing and actually living life? Wings of Desire is a film that tackles all of these questions and more or less answer them to the degree a film is capable of addressing such a complex question. I don't think it is a stretch to say that the central musings of Wings of Desire are probably unanswerable but the film spends so much time pondering that by the end we really don't care all that much.
The overarching plot of the film is really not all that important. Basically, the earth is filled with angels who spend all of their time observing and recording human behavior. They hang out in libraries, on buses, walking the streets, soothing those they observe through touch but otherwise stay at a distance. If you are familiar with The Watchers in the Marvel Comics Universe then you've got a pretty good idea of what is happening here. Every once in a while an angel will get the notion that it is better to be human and will in turn "fall" to our world. In the case of the primary protagonist in Wings of Desire, his inspiration to become human is pushed forward through his intrigue of a woman; a trapeze artist who is introduced to the audience gliding through the air with a pair of angelic wings made from chicken feathers.Read More