Wim Wenders was planning to make a film about his old friend, the renowned choreographer Pina Bausch, when she died unexpectedly in the summer of 2009.
He decided instead to make a film for her, using excerpts (in 3D) from her own dances with the ensemble members of the Tanztheater Wuppertal. I confess to knowing as much about modern dance as I do about nuclear physics, so quite a lot of this went right over my head.
Some of it resonated, though, particularly certain supple pas de deux and the piece that opens and closes the film, a long procession of dancers doing jolly little handjives in unison. The uninitiated might have been helped with a little biography, such as where she was born, or how old she was when she died (Solingen, near Düsseldorf, and 68 – thank you, Google) but Wenders won't go that route. It's an austere testament, though plainly heartfelt, and perhaps just what the lady herself would have appreciated.