Paul Joyce and producer Chris Rodley's thorough, intelligent documentary manages to celebrate Wenders' work, to contextualise it, and to question some of the assumptions he makes in his films. They use interviews (with Wenders, his actors, collaborators, and German critic Kraft Wetzel), clips, and music to explain and explore his output of the last two decades. Fuller is funny and colourful; Hopper, Falk, Stanton and Ry Cooder are anecdotal but perceptive; Zischler is Teutonically serious; and Wetzel provocative but often spot-on in his unsentimental assessment of Wenders' strengths and weaknesses (on his faintly adolescent attitude towards those he doesn't understand, for instance: 'Aren't women mysterious? Aren't kids wonderful in their innocent wisdom? Let's put on another record!'). The film, while justifiably admiring, never slips into hagiographic excess, and a judicious use of songs provides an uplifting, paean-like tone.
Cast and crew
Harry Dean Stanton