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Lisbon Story (Portuguese: O Céu de Lisboa (Brasil); German: Lisbon Story) is a 1994 feature film directed by Wim Wenders. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.[1] As part of Lisbon's programme as the European City of Culture in 1994, Wenders and three Portuguese filmmakers were invited to make a documentary about the city. The result was the fictional Lisbon Story.[2]

Lisbon Story
Lisbon story.jpg
Directed byWim Wenders
Produced byPaulo Branco
Ulrich Felsberg
João Canijo
Wim Wenders
Written byWim Wenders
StarringRüdiger Vogler
Patrick Bauchau
Music byJürgen Knieper
CinematographyLiza Rinzler
Edited byPeter Przygodda
Anne Schnee
Distributed byAxiom Films (UK and Ireland)
Release date
  • 1994 (1994)
Running time
100 minutes



Lisbon Story is partially a sequel to Wenders' 1982 film, The State of Things. The fictitious movie director in the previous film, Friedrich Munro, reappears, again played by Patrick Bauchau. In Lisbon Story Friedrich has moved to Lisbon, Portugal (the country where The State of Things was set). The principal character, Philip Winter (Rüdiger Vogler), a sound engineer, receives a postcard invitation from Friedrich to come to Lisbon to record sounds of the capital city for his forthcoming film. On arriving, the director is nowhere to be found, though he leaves cryptic messages. This sets in motion a mysterious quest.

The sound engineer doesn't meet up with the director until the end of the movie, when it materialises that, disturbed by the commercialization of images, he had set out to capture what he terms the "unseen image" of the city, one devoid of the subjective view, while also pretending that the whole history of cinema had never happened. A semi-non-fictional aspect of the plot is the appearance of the internationally famous Portuguese folk music group Madredeus and Manoel de Oliveira, who at that time was the oldest living active film director in the world.

Homage to The Road Movie TrilogyEdit

During the mid-1970s, Wim Wenders made three films which critics have called The Road Movie Trilogy. Lisbon Story pays subtle homage to these films. The sound engineer in Lisbon Story, Philip Winter, has the same name and is played by the same actor (Rüdiger Vogler) as the lead character in Alice in the Cities (1974), though the character Phil Winter was a writer in the first film. The name Winter is repeated in Kings of the Road (1976), also starring Vogler, although his full name in Kings is Bruno Winter and he is a projection-equipment mechanic.

Featured castEdit

Actor Role
Rüdiger Vogler Philip Winter
Patrick Bauchau Friedrich Monroe
Vasco Sequeira Truck Driver
Canto e Castro Barber
Viriato José da Silva Shoemaker
João Canijo Crook
Ricardo Colares Ricardo
Joel Cunha Ferreira
Sofia Bénard da Costa Sofia
Vera Cunha Rocha Vera
Elisabete Cunha Rocha Beta
Teresa Salgueiro Herself (Madredeus)
Pedro Ayres Magalhães Himself (Madredeus)
Rodrigo Leão Himself (Madredeus)
Gabriel Gomes Himself (Madredeus)
José Peixoto Himself (Madredeus)
Francisco Ribeiro Himself (Madredeus)
Manoel de Oliveira Himself


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Lisbon Story". Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  2. ^ Santos, Marcelino (2007). "The image of the city – Wim Wenders' Lisbon Story". City + Cinema: Essays on the specificity of location in film (29). Datutop.

External linksEdit