Faraway, So Close!

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Faraway, So Close!
Faraway so close ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wim Wenders
Produced by Ulrich Felsberg
Michael Schwarz
Wim Wenders
Written by Richard Reitinger
Wim Wenders
Ulrich Zieger
Starring Otto Sander
Bruno Ganz
Heinz Rühmann
Peter Falk
Nastassja Kinski
Willem Dafoe
Solveig Dommartin
Rüdiger Vogler
Music by Laurent Petitgand[1]
Nick Cave
Laurie Anderson
Lou Reed
Cinematography Jürgen Jürges
Editing by Peter Przygodda
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release dates 18 May 1993 (Cannes Film Festival)
France: 1 September 1993
Germany: 9 September 1993
United States: 21 December 1993
UK: 1 July 1994
Running time 144 min. (German)
140 min. (U.S.)
Country Germany
Language German
French
English
Italian
Russian
Spanish
Box office $810,455[2]

Faraway, So Close! (German: In weiter Ferne, so nah!) is a 1993 film by German director Wim Wenders. The screenplay is by Wenders, Richard Reitinger and Ulrich Zieger. The film is a sequel to Wenders' 1987 film Wings of Desire. Actors Otto Sander and Bruno Ganz reprise their roles as angels visiting earth. The film also stars Nastassja Kinski, Willem Dafoe and Heinz Rühmann (in his last film role). It won the Grand Prix du Jury and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.

Plot[edit]

Cassiel and Raphaella, two angels, observe the busy life of reunited Berlin. Due to their divine origin, they can hear the thoughts of the people around them, and try to console a dying man. Cassiel has been following his friend Damiel (a former angel), who senses his presence and talks about his experiences as a human. He owns a pizza parlor named Casa dell'angelo (Angel's House) and has married Marion, a trapeze artist whom he met when an angel. She works in a local bar in West Berlin, and the two have a young daughter (Marion).

Cassiel follows Raisa Becker, an 11-year-old girl who lives in the former East Berlin. He observes her life and notices that she and her mother Hanna Becker are being followed by Philip Winter, a detective who works for Anton Baker. The latter is an American mafioso who owns a transport company.

Cassiel follows Hanna Becker (and Winter) to an abandoned building in the outskirts of East Berlin. There he finds that she brings food to Konrad, a man who has acted as a father to her, since his days as her chauffeur during World War II. Traveling back in time, Cassiel is able to see the last days of Berlin late in the war. When the war appeared to have been lost, the father, a doctor, escaped to the United States with his son and adopted the name Baker. The mother Gertrud Becker stayed behind with the young Hanna, both under the care of Konrad.

Winter photographs the WWII-vintage cars which Konrad cares for and brings the photos to Baker. Winter drops the man as an employer, having investigated his activities. He encounters Peter Falk outside the hotel.

As Raphaella and Cassiel sit on top of the Brandenburg Gate, he expresses a desire to experience human life. Visiting Raisa, he finds her alone at her flat and leaning over the balcony railing. As she falls, Cassiel tries to save her and suddenly becomes human, catching the child. He has to adjust to the transformation, learning to modulate the volume of his voice and to negotiate streets and avoid being hit by cars. His only possession is an angel's armor, which became tangible when he leaped into humanity. In the underground (subway), Cassiel is tricked into gambling by Emit Flesti, losing his armor and money won during the game. Raphaella begs Flesti to give Cassiel time to understand what it is to be a human; he agrees but does not promise to stop hunting him.

Arrested and detained, Cassiel struggles to satisfy police demands for identification. He cannot give (or comprehend) his name or address, but refers the police to his friend's pizza shop. Damiel arrives at the station and takes his now human friend home. Cassiel does not understand why everyone is so alone and cannot understand each other (his ability as an angel to hear their thoughts has disappeared.)

Tricked by Flesti into drinking alcohol, he becomes addicted and robs a shop with a gun taken from a teenager. The boy had been planning to kill his stepfather for abuse. Cassiel begins acting to make his way and feigns a car accident with Baker. He manages to get Baker to pay for his passport and official identifications under the name Karl Engel (Charles Angel). Baker hires Cassiel as his personal valet, to pass him cards for beating his mafia associates at poker. Stopping by Casa dell'Angelo to return items borrowed from Damiel, Cassiel encounters Flesti again. He is collecting money from Damiel, after having loaned him money to set up the business.

After he saves Baker's life from an extortion attempt by Patzke, Baker makes Cassiel his partner. Finally learning his evil business, Cassiel decides to stop him. He goes first to Konrad's garage, to rest in one of his cars; Winter sleeps in another. When Winter is about to leave, he is killed by Flesti. Winter dies in Cassiel's arms. Konrad arrives and Cassiel tells his life story, since the former chauffeur recognized him as the angel in his life. The former angel organizes his friends to destroy Baker's business. Meanwhile, Baker has reunited with his sister Hanna.

With the help of Peter Falk, Cassiel gets into Baker's airport storage area. His team takes all the weapons and destroy the pornography copying machines. They send the weapons to a barge owned by other friends. Once having completed the plan, Cassiel feels ready to live as a human, but Flesti reports that Baker's enemy Patzke has hijacked the barge with Baker's and Cassiel's friends inside.

Flesti reveals himself as Time and says that he has to make Cassiel understand he does not belong in the human world; he has a word written on his forehead. At a boat lift, Cassiel gets on the barge to free Raisa, but is killed. Flesti slows time so the rest can take over the barge and save the entire party. Cassiel's friends are saddened by his death, but when Damiel hears a ring in his ear, he understands that Cassiel is near and laughs in joy.

Cast[edit]

Cameos[edit]

The film features cameo appearances by the singer Lou Reed, the American actor Peter Falk and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, all of whom play themselves.

Music[edit]

The Faraway, So Close! Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released the 25th of January 1994 by ERG / SBK Records. The twenty track album has a run time of 76:33.

The soundtrack mix of the U2 songs "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" and "The Wanderer" are an augmentation of the July 1993 Zooropa release.

  1. "Faraway So Close" ~ 3:56 ~ Nick Cave
  2. "Stay (Faraway, So Close!) (soundtrack mix)" ~ 6:06 ~ U2
  3. "Why can't I Be Good" ~ 4:22 ~ Lou Reed
  4. "Chaos" ~ 4:51 ~ Herbert Grönemeyer
  5. "Travelin On" ~ 3:49 ~ Simon Bonney
  6. "The Wanderer (soundtrack mix)" ~ 5:16 ~ U2 (featuring Johnny Cash)
  7. "Cassiel's Song" ~ 3:36 ~ Nick Cave
  8. "Slow Tango" ~ 3:29 ~ Jane Siberry
  9. "Call me" ~ 4:08 ~ The House of Love
  10. "All God's Children" ~ 4:42 ~ Simon Bonney
  11. "Tightrope" ~ 3:18 ~ Laurie Anderson
  12. "Speak My Language" ~ 3:36 ~ Laurie Anderson
  13. "Victory" ~ 4:06 ~ Laurent Petitgand[3]
  14. "Gorbi" ~ 2:51 ~ Laurent Petitgand
  15. "Konrad (1st part)" ~ 1:56 ~ Laurent Petitgand
  16. "Konrad (2nd part)" ~ 3:41 ~ Laurent Petitgand
  17. "Firedream" ~ 3:01~ Laurent Petitgand
  18. "Allegro" ~ 3:27 ~ Laurent Petitgand
  19. "Engel" ~ 4:44 ~ Laurent Petitgand
  20. "Mensch" ~ 1:38 ~ Laurent Petitgand

Honors[edit]

The film won the Grand Prix du Jury and was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.[4]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
The Stolen Children
Grand Prix du Jury, Cannes
1993
Succeeded by
To Live tied with
Burnt by the Sun