Wim Wenders was deeply impressed and moved when in 1985 he saw for the first time "Café Müller" by choreographer Pina Bausch when the Tanztheater Wuppertal performed in Venice, at the occasion of a retrospective of Busch's work. Out of the meeting of the two artists grew a long-standing friendship and with the passage of time the plan for a joint film. However, putting the plan into action failed for a long time because of the limited possibilities of the medium: Wenders felt that he had not yet found a way to adequately translate Pina Bausch's unique art of movement, gesture, speech and music into film. Over the years the joint film project turned into a friendly ritual, almost a running gag, with both artists reminding one another of their plan. "When?" "As soon as I know how…"
The defining moment finally came for Wim Wenders when the Irish Rock band U2 presented their digitally produced 3D concert film "U2-3D" in Cannes. Wenders knew immediately: "With 3D our project would be possible! Only in this way, by incorporating the dimension of space, I could dare (and not just presumingly), to bring Pina's Tanztheater in in an adequate form to the screen. " Wenders began to systematically view the new generation of digital 3D cinema and in 2008 together with Pina Bausch to consider the realization of their shared dream. Together with Wim Wenders, Bausch selected "Café Müller", "Le Sacre du printemps", "Vollmond" and "Kontakthof" from her repertoire and added them to her 2009/2010 season.
"Normally, with a dance film, we would erect cameras in front of the stage, far away from the action on stage," says Alain Derobe, "for PINA we positioned the cameras between the dancers. The camera literally dances with them. Therefore, each crew member had to deal with the choreography. Everyone had to know exactly where the dancers would move so the camera could follow them and not be in their way."
In the second stage of filming, the team recorded with "Kontakthof" another early piece by Pina Bausch, this time without an audience. The classic was filmed by Wim Wenders in the three different castings created by Pina Bausch: with the ensemble of the Wuppertal Tanztheater, with men and women aged between 65 and 80, and with teenagers from the age of 14 on. For the solos the dancers of the ensemble left the limited space of the stage and performed in public spaces, industrial landscapes, the sweeping countryside of the Bergisches Land and in the Wuppertal Suspension Line.