The sky over Wenders' war-scarred Berlin is full of gentle, trenchcoated angels who listen to the tortured thoughts of mortals. They cannot intervene, yet they can comfort them. After one of them, Damiel (Bruno Ganz), falls in love with a beautiful trapeze artist, Marion (Solveig Dommartin), he wishes nothing more than to become mortal.
Peter Falk, as himself, assists in the transformation by explaining the simple joys of a human experience.
Told from the angel's point of view, the film is shot in black and white, blossoming into color only when the angels perceive the realities of humankind. Ultimately, Damiel determines that he must experience humanity in full and gives up his immortality to pursue a life with Marion.