Home PageFilm“Pina” – a film by Wim Wenders

“Pina” – a film by Wim Wenders

Scene from "Pina"

I had never heard of German choreographer Pina Bausch or her Tanztheatre Wuppertal until I saw “Pina,” Wim Wenders’ 2011 documentary, which synthesizes two distinct but complementary artistic visions to create that rarest of achievements, a masterpiece.  At least, I think that word is fairly used here.   It’s not only the choreography and the dancers who bring it to life that are extraordinary, thanks to the input of Pina Bausch.  It’s Wenders’ ability to capture the whole while doing justice to the parts that makes this film so memorable.  It is lush and spare at the same time, word-ful and word-less, mindful, respectful….and beautiful.  It pursues a more nuanced interplay of body and spirit than Wenders’ much earlier, nearly-as-magical film, Wings of Desire (http://www.wim-wenders.com/movies/movies_spec/wingsofdesire/wingsofdesire.htm).

Of course, not everyone likes what they see in “Pina.”  Below are links to the film’s website and two reviews, one positive and the other one, not so much.  Also a brief remembrance of Pina.  I encourage you to see the film and decide for yourself.  We will never know what Pina herself would have said, since she passed away in 2009.  But something tells me she would have been pleased.  In any case, as A.O. Scott notes, the film succeeds as “an act of preservation, a memorial that is also a defiance of mortality — completely alive in every dimension.”


A.O. Scott’s review in the New York Times: http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/movies/pina-a-documentary-by-wim-wenders-review.html

Joan Acocella’s reveiw in The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/01/pina-bauschs-zone-of-discomfort.html

Mark Swed’s remembrance in the LA Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/07/pina-bausch-remembered.html

Wim Wenders


Pina Bausch

Scene from "Pina"

Scene from "Pina"

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