Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel

Philosophical filmmakers are few and far between, understandably so, but even more depressing is that professional philosophy is perversely plagued by the unphilosophical — i.e. the virtue-signalers and thought and language police. Anyway, one of the few philosophically orientated filmmakers is Wim Wenders and one of my favourite films of all is his Wings of Desire/Der Himmel über Berlin. As per Wikipedia: “A subplot follows Peter Falk, who has arrived in Berlin to make a film about Berlin’s Nazi past. As the film progresses, it emerges that Peter Falk was once an angel, who, having grown tired of always observing and never experiencing, renounced his immortality to become a participant in the world”. Falk was brilliantly cast “as himself” knowing full well that his identity is pretty much coextensive with his fictional alter-ego Columbo. What comes through is the beautiful moral disposition and subtle wisdom of Falk/Columbo and why I mention this is that I happen to know someone who is just like this. And just as in the film, there is a tacit gleam of recognition between these people sprinkled amongst us as a force for good.

As one can take only so much of infinity, Damiel’s longing is in the opposite direction, for the genuineness and limitedness of human existence in the world, perhaps a reference to Dasein, or Existenz.