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Directed by Wim Wenders

West Germany 1975 103 mins.

Glückstadt in northern Germany, a palace along the Rhine, a housing project on the outskirts of Frankfurt, and finally the Zugspitze—these are the stations of the journey that young Wilhelm Meister (Rüdiger Vogler) hopes will save him from the gloomy irritability and despondency that plague him in his hometown. It is in these alien environs that he hopes to finally satisfy his most uncontrollable urge: to write. Imagining that the journey will broaden his horizons and develop his voice as an author, this unusual path actually leads Wilhelm through an unbroken series of failures. Each successive disaster is the result of his own faults as well as the shortcomings of the people he meets along the way: Laertes (Hans Christian Blech), the street singer struggling with his Nazi past, the mute girl Mignon (Nastassja Kinski in her first role), the poet (Peter Kern), and the actress Therese (Hanna Schygulla).