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A movie star is sitting on an old couch in the middle of the street in Butte, Montana. His name is Howard Spence, and he has run away from the set of his latest film. Something has drawn him to Butte, where he once fell in love with a beautiful waitress.

There's a sense that, in spite of Howard's successes and self-indulgences, he's beginning to understand that true fulfillment may be found in love, family, commitment, and responsibility.

So here he is, sitting alone at "the scene of the crime," haunted by echoes of the past. It won't be easy to fix the relationships he's left in shambles for so long—and he's too blind to realize the journey must begin with repentance and forgiveness.

That's the premise of Don't Come Knocking, the new film by the great German director Wim Wenders, now showing in limited release.

Don't Come Knocking reunites Wenders with American actor and playwright Sam Shepard, with whom he crafted 1984's Paris, Texas, about another lost soul's spiritual journey to mend what is broken. Now, over 20 years later, they've revisited the theme, and discovered another journey, full of humor, hurt, and longing.

Shepard brings rough authenticity to both the script and his performance in the lead role, while Wenders' contribution is to reveal the invisible workings of the Spirit in these lives—through observant camerawork, meditative pacing, and an intuitive grasp of how this rugged landscape represents desolate spiritual territory.

Wenders, a Christian, has been giving attentive cinephiles "eyes to see and ears to hear" for almost three decades of filmmaking. Here's a closer look at some of his most memorable work.

Guardian Angels

When watching a film by Wenders, it's important to consider the characters' different ...

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