Prolific German director Wim Wenders (pictured) has worked on projects as diverse as a drama about angels watching over Berlin, a documentary on the blues, and a music video for U2. He has now expanded his filmography with a documentary about famed choreographer Pina Bausch. “I first saw Pina perform in 1985,” Wenders recalled during a recent visit to Tokyo. “It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. It blew me away and completely changed my life. I met her the next day and in my juvenile enthusiasm, I said one day we will make a film together.” The filmmaker then realized he had no idea how to capture the elaborate stage performances of Bausch, who founded the Tanztheater style. “Over the years we would meet and she would raise an eyebrow and I would shrug my shoulders,” he says, explaining the long-gestating project. The emergence of digital 3D technology finally convinced Wenders he could transport viewers into her world. Tragically, Bausch died suddenly of cancer at the age of 68, just days before the scheduled start of filming. When he tried to call off the project, the surviving members of her troupe convinced him to film their performance, and the result is a touching tribute to an artist and friend.
Pina opens at Yurakucho Human Trust Cinema and Shinjuku Wald 9 on February 25.