Wim Wenders

Fleeting Things of Desire

Wim Wenders for HB by marc steffen Unger
Wim Wenders in the courtyard behind his office in Berlin.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    For Wim Wenders, analog photography can help freeze time and at the same time make the viewer aware of its passing, whereas digital photography distances people from reality.

  • Facts


    • Wim Wenders is one of Germany’s most famous filmmakers. He has just finished shooting “The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez.”
    • Mr. Wenders started taking photographs as a child.
    • Mr. Wenders was born in Düsseldorf in 1945 and initially studied medicine, painting and film.
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Wim Wenders has been making films for four decades and is one of Germany’s best-known directors. His films include “Wings of Desire,” “Paris, Texas” and “The State of Things.” He has won numerous international awards including the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. He is also a photographer and he talked to Handelsblatt about his manifesto against digital photography, his search for desolate places and our changing relationship to reality.


Handelsblatt: Mr. Wenders, there’s currently an exhibition in Düsseldorf of your work showing large photographs of run-down, far-away places, mostly without human figures. On the other hand, these scenes suggest stories to us. How does that work?

Wim Wenders: It’s not that these pictures suggest stories in our minds but in what these places actually show us. They often have a great deal of stories and history – and you can decipher this, if you’re open to it.

Are these places of rememberance?

Exactly! They remind us what our civilization, and what we as people, leave behind us. If you look at the smallest details, there’s a lot you can discover.

One photo shows a father holding his son and standing in front of a huge dinosaur. If you look closer, you see the child has his arm round his father’s neck…

And then you realize the mother is sitting in the car reading a book. You can see the beginning of a story in every photograph.

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