Wim Wenders: How our images can change our world

Wim WendersEvery now and then, we come across a simple yet profound statement that sums up our work or our aspirations – or both.

Here’s one such gem from Wim Wenders, the German film director, playwright, author, photographer and producer: “If we can improve the images of the world, perhaps we can improve the world.”

I must admit, now and here, that I’ve not seen any of his films (except for extracts online – does that count?). Yes, what a lot I have missed — but I’ve read a bit on him and been enormously impressed by how he plays with images, both still and moving, in a unique style of his own.

The more I searched about him, the more impressed and amazed I became about his progressive and pragmatic comments about his art and craft.

Consider these other gems I found, all talking about how movies can catalyse or support change in society:

“Any film that supports the idea that things can be changed is a great film in my eyes.”

“Any movie that has that spirit and says things can be changed is worth making.”

“Entertainment today constantly emphasises the message that things are wonderful the way they are. But there is another kind of cinema, which says that change is possible and necessary and it’s up to you.”

“On the contrary a film can promote the idea of change without any political message whatsoever but in its form and language can tell people that they can change their lives and contribute to progressive changes in the world.”

Read collected quotes of Wim Wenders on BrainyQuote

Opening of Wings of Desire (1987) by Wim Wenders

Here’s an interesting interview with the legendary film maker by a legendary broadcaster:

Frost over the World featuring Wim Wenders – Al Jazeera English on 11 Jan 2008

I’ve now run out of excuses for not seeking out Wim Wenders films. That’s one of my aspirations in 2010.

But meanwhile, this particular Wim Wenders quote is a caution for people like myself: “The more opinions you have, the less you see.”

Author: Nalaka Gunawardene

A science writer by training, I've worked as a journalist and communication specialist across Asia for 30+ years. During this time, I have variously been a news reporter, feature writer, radio presenter, TV quizmaster, documentary film producer, foreign correspondent and journalist trainer. I continue to juggle some of these roles, while also blogging and tweeting and column writing.

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