Faraway, So Close!  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Faraway, So Close! (In weiter Ferne, so nah!) is a 1993 German fantasy film directed by Wim Wenders. The screenplay is by Wenders, Richard Reitinger and Ulrich Zieger. It is a sequel to Wenders' 1987 film Wings of Desire.Template:Refn Actors Otto Sander, Bruno Ganz and Peter Falk reprise their roles as angels who have become human. The film also stars Nastassja Kinski, Willem Dafoe and Heinz Rühmann, in his last film role.

The story follows the angel Cassiel, who unlike his friend Damiel, chose not to become human in the original despite being told of the joys of life. Cassiel only becomes human in the reunified Berlin, but quickly becomes involved in a criminal enterprise that threatens his newfound life and his friends.

Wenders opted to pursue the project, desiring to make a film set in Berlin after the fall of the Wall. Sander also wished to pursue a storyline in which his character becomes human, and contributed ideas for the plot. Faraway, So Close! won the Grand Prix du Jury at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, but less critical success than its predecessor.


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, Doria.

Cassiel follows Raissa 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 arms dealer and pornographer who owns a transport company.

Cassiel follows Hanna Becker (and Winter) to an abandoned building in the outskirts of East Berlin. As Raphaella and Cassiel sit on top of the Brandenburg Gate, he expresses a desire to experience human life. Visiting Raissa, 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. Tricked by Flesti into drinking alcohol, he becomes addicted and robs a shop with a gun taken from a teenager, who had been planning to kill his abusive stepfather. Cassiel begins acting to make his way and feigns a car accident with Baker. He manages to get Baker to forge him a passport and birth certificate under the name Karl Engel (Charles Angel). Baker hires Cassiel as his valet, to pass him cards for cheating his fellow gangsters 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, Baker makes Cassiel his partner. Finally learning the true nature of his business, Cassiel decides to leave his service and stop him. Winter is killed by Flesti and Baker has reunited with his sister, Hanna.

With the help of former angel 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 rival, 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 and frees Raissa, moments before being 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.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Faraway, So Close!" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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