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A Trick of the Light U rating

The origins of German cinema are given life in one of Wim Wenders’ most charming and playful films, focusing on pioneering inventors, the Skladanowsky brothers.

Drama-documentary 1996 79 mins

Director: Wim Wenders


Working with a group of Munich-based film students, acclaimed director Wim Wenders celebrates a century of cinema by reappraising the importance of the Skladanowsky Brothers, one of the pioneers of early cinema. Part docudrama, part experimental re-enactment, this is Wenders at his most playful and imaginative.

Fictional recreations of the brothers’ development of the ‘bioskop’, a primitive version of the film projector, are framed by an interview with Max Skladanowsky’s surviving daughter, Lucie, whose reminiscences bring a forgotten world back to life. Ultimately, A Trick of Light is a meditation on the nature of film and its ability to capture the world around us, made by a director acutely aware of the medium’s limitations within a rapidly changing world.