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4.2 out of 5 stars
Faraway, So Close!
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97 of 101 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2001
Format: VHS TapeVerified Purchase
Unlike the angel in "Wings of Desire," who longed to be human to experience the pleasures and satisfactions of being in a physical body, the angel in "Faraway So Close" (more a companion piece than a sequel to "Wings of Desire") longs to be human to see through man's eyes and discover why human beings find it so difficult to experience the spiritual.
The angel reborn into a physical body learns the harsh lessons of life: humans can barely see beyond their own physical bodies much less glimpse the spiritual world; time passes quickly and often leaves one behind in the dust without anyone noticing or caring; and the bitterness of loneliness is a terrible thing. This is in direct contradistinction to the angel in "Wings of Desire." That angel finds joy and satisfaction in love, work and family.
Wenders, therefore, brilliantly shows us both sides of the human coin. The postive side is reflected in "Wings of Desire" and represent love and growth and the negative side is reflected in "Faraway So Close" and signify loneliness and decay. Although "Faraway So Close" sacrifices the originality that "Wings of Desire" offered us, it makes up for it by completing the human picture; for "Wings of Desire" and this film form a complete and compelling whole.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is the sequel to Wenders 1987 masterpiece "Wings of Desire", a film that if you haven't seen you are only depriving yourself!
In this film viewers are returned to Berlin (albeit in the post-Cold War era), to see how Cassiel struggles with the barrier that exists between men and angels (for those of you who have not seen "Wings of Desire" - Cassiel is an angel). As with the first film, the angels in this movie watch over humans as if they are there own charges. Casssiel's problems eminate from his desire to make contact with these people, much the same way that Damiel did in "Wings of Desire".
Cassiel achieves his wish when he is forced to a make a split-second decision to save a young girl's life. By interceding he becomes a part of the world he had only been able to view from afar. The rest of the movie thus focuses on how Cassiel deals with the pressures and stresses of being "human". I don't want to give away too much of the story so I'll stop my description here.
There is an all star cast in this movie, such as; Nastassja Kinski, Willem Dafoe, Peter Falk, and what must have been a real coup - Mikhail Gorbachev! Don't prejudge this film if you wasted your time on that second rate, Hollywood knock-off "City of Angels" starring Nicholas Cage. This by far a superior movie. A+++++++
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 29, 2003
Format: DVD
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2
The world's three great religions incorporate angels as real, created entities, messengers between the world of mortals and God. And movies about angels, both good and bad, will always be messengers of film entertainment. Here's a new to DVD title about a good angel that's worthy of your time.
FAR AWAY, SO CLOSE! is the flip side to "Wings of Desire." Here, instead of desiring to be flesh and blood, the angel seeks to understand why humans have such a hard time experiencing the spiritual. These two films, taken together, offer a stunning and profoundly moving picture of the bittersweet, paradoxical and all-too-brief human experience. Both are of the highest order of mature filmmaking: intelligent, emotional, and visually stunning. They provide a memorable, meaningful and authentic experience about life's deepest mysteries. We are indeed spiritual beings having a human experience.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2006
Format: DVD
In searching for the transcendent, and for a spiritual explanation of its material certainties and flaws, there are people who choose to believe in angels, those unmaterial beings that watch over mortals perennially, shedding light and preventing souls from falling into darkness. It is certainly a great story line, and one that touches many, but "Faraway so close" distants itself from the mere and plain interest of the obvious subject and dares to explore way deeper in the uncertain terrains of beliefs, sentiments, destiny versus will, friendship and the very essence of good and evil. It ends up being a beautiful and moving screen poem. I just love this movie and treasure it at home as one of my favorites..

This is the long awaited sequel to a previous movie by Wim Wenders under the title "Wings of Desire". In the first movie, Damiel (Bruno Ganz) an angelic being, falls in love with Marion (Solveig Dommartin) a mortal woman. Due to the strength of his feelings, Damiel chooses to make the transition to mortality and ends up forming a mortal family. The movie comes across as a beautiful love story.

In "Faraway so close" a somewhat darker side of the same process is told. Cassiel (Otto Sanders) another angel, and friend of Damiel, makes the same transition to mortality but essentially, to prevent destiny from fulfilling itself. That is, for the wrong reasons although for a good end (saving a little girl's life). Mortality ends up being a painful and shocking process for Cassiel no matter how desperately Damiel and his family try to help. In the end, there is some sort of agreement that the time for Cassiel to come down to this earth was not right. And perhaps neither were the reasons. However, destiny shows up again, and time comes for Cassiel to leave its mortal self and set things right again. The momentum is symbolized by Emit Flesti (Willem Defoe). Spell it backwards and the name will read "Time itself".

Certainly a thought-provoking kind of movie, with a great script in German, English, French and Italian and an impressive photography and marvelous direction. Beautiful and well constructed characters abound such as Raphaela (a companion angel for Cassiel, played by Nastassja Kinski), Tony Baker (Horst Bucholz), Heinz Rahrmann (Konrad), Philip Winter (Rudiger Vogeler), Camilla Pontabry (who plays Doria, Damiel and Marion's daughter) and of course the already beloved characters of Damiel, Cassiel and Marion.

Cameo appearances by Lou Reed, Mikhail Gorbachov and Peter Falk are included, all playing themselves. And the post-Berlin wall setting, together with the contradictions and conflicts still present in current German society are worth every penny. It is certainly not a mainstream sort of movie, yet in my opinion it delivers a strong message to everyone with a touch of spirituality and wanders about life, death, love, fate, will, good, evil and the essentials of our presence in this earth.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2001
Format: DVD
Although I'd already seen the movie when it was released on VHS some years ago, I purchased this DVD because of the blurb on the back cover mentioning that it contained "Director Wim Wenders' Audio Commentary." It turned out to be just that: Wender's commentary overlaid throughout the full length of the movie. It was like being in the theater with Wender's sitting next to me, explaining every scene and regaling the listener with anecdotes about the movie, its actors, and his experiences as a director. It would be wonderful if more directors did this sort of thing; a feature uniquely suited to DVD's.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: VHS Tape
This is much lighter and easier to follow than its progenitor, "Wings of Desire".
This movie follows Cassiel's desire to be human. While Tariel may have hade a more ideal life (family, child, job, simple pleasures), Cassiel's story is one more of what happens when humans screw up, make bad choices, or live in denial.
Can't forget Peter Falk. He reprises the best role I have ever seen him in. Also, William Defoe the Fallen Angel is something to be remembered.
A truly wonderful companion movie and also wonderful on its own. I wholly recomment buying it today.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Dir. Wim Wenders captures the imagination of angels. The story is about an angel who wishes against wishes that he could be human, to know time and how he could be a better messanger. He quickly finds out that modern man is far too easily blinded to see spiritual truths. His own descent into sinnful acts affirm mankind's depravity. Poetry and stark imagery wisp you along as does the music of (former Velvet) Lou Reed and U2. Reed makes an apperance in the film and his song "I want to be good" is good redemptive music reminiscent of VU's third album. Reed, Peter Falk and Mikhail Gorbachev all making apperances as themselvs adds a sense of reality to the dreamy idea of angels watching us. Far Away So Close makes Berlin feel like Jerusalem with eternity so close yet so out of sight. May the light of this film hit your eye and make you happy. You will keep thinking of it long after you've seen it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Dir. Wim Wenders captures the imagination of angels. The story is about an angel who wishes against wishes that he could be human, to know time and how he could be a better messanger. He quickly finds out that modern man is far too easily blinded to see spiritual truths. His own descent into sinnful acts affirm mankind's depravity. Poetry and stark imagery wisp you along as does the music of (former Velvet) Lou Reed and U2. Reed makes an apperance in the film and his song "I want to be good" is good redemptive music reminiscent of VU's third album. Reed, Peter Falk and Mikhail Gorbachev all making apperances as themselvs adds a sense of reality to the dreamy idea of angels watching us. Far Away So Close makes Berlin feel like Jerusalem with eternity so close yet so out of sight. May the light of this film hit your eye and make you happy. You will keep thinking of it long after you've seen it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2002
Format: DVD
One of Wneders better efforts, I would call this more of a companion to rather than a sequel to "Wings of Desire". Overall, I think "Wings of Desire" was a better movie, it seems as though Wenders was trying to be a little more mainstream in this film, but nonetheless, an excellent film in the same veign as "Wings of Desire". I think it would have been that much better if he hadn't spent so much time on the character who was an arms dealer and the angels attempts to thwart his operation. This section of the movie came off as a mad cap adventure, and was not true to the overall tone and message of the film. But perhaps Wenders was trying to interject some levity in this film, he is known to be a bit heavy-handed in his other efforts.
I would not necessarily say that one MUST see "Wings of Desire" to enjoy this film, but it would sure help, as that film sets up much the character development for "Far Away, So Close"
Both films are insightful, well written, thought-provoking, well acted, and have great cinematography.
Most highly recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If you are tired of watching the same movies, you should try this one. The story of angels walking between humans and their effort to understand them is a wonderful chance to understand a little bit more about ourselves.
Cassiel and the other angels teach us how beautiful life is, despite all problems we have to face.
In addition, the music by U2 and the images of Berlin are just another reason to watch it.
Enjoy it!
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