Coda

At the end of Wim Wenders's film, Cassiel, having sacrificed himself for a little girl, returns to the angelic realm. The closing shots follow the main human characters as they sail towards new horizons. Cassiel and Raphaela conclude the film with a voice-over:

You. You whom we love. You who do not see us. You who do not hear us. You imagine us in the far distance, yet we are so near. We are the messengers who bring closeness to those in the distance. We are not the message, we are the messengers. The message is love. We are nothing. You are everything to us. Let us dwell in your eyes. See your world through us. Recapture through us that loving look once again. Then we'll be close to you and you to Him.

This is the film's final and most poignant statement against 'soulless materialism'. Again it follows, albeit without any reference, Walter Benjamin's recognition that 'allegories fill out and deny the void in which they are represented, just as, ultimately, the intention does not faithfully rest in contemplation of the bodies, but faithlessly leaps forward to the idea of resurrection'.116

115 There is a further implication here. The Scripture's close correlation between the Christ-event and representation is going to make Scripture the most redemptive form of mimesis. But there are, after all, narratives of evil. On this account of the relationship between story and revelation, the extent to which something is recognised as good or evil will depend upon spiritual discernment or theological perception. That is, whether the divine can be seen within the ordinary, the invisible in the visible. Nothing by necessity is evil either in creation, experience or representation.

116 The Origin of German Tragic Drama, p. 233.

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