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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Cloud 9 (Wolke 9)

Starts September 4, 2008

This is a touching love story, but not your usual one as the protagonists are not a young and beautiful couple in their 20s but a geriatric couple going through the same feelings of joy and sexual desires, the same doubts and pain of love, facing the same kind of decisions and consequences. 

Inge (Ursula Werner), a plain-looking woman in her mid 60s, is married for 30 years to kind-hearted Werner (Horst Rehberg), who loves train rides and listening to recordings of old steam-engines. Inge, working as a seamstress from their small apartment in East Berlin, enjoys singing in a lady’s choir. On Sundays they visit Werner’s senile father in the nursing home or baby-sit for daughter Petra (Steffi Kühnert). Nothing has prepared Inge for the hot waves of sexual desire when meeting Karl (Horst Westphal), who is just as old as her husband but full of energy. She is thrown onto “Cloud 9” struggling to come back to earth and to continue her daily routine with Werner.

Eventually, she confides in daughter Petra, who is glad to see her mother happy, advising her to keep it a secret. But adultery nags on Inge’s conscience. In her anguish she tells Werner of her new love in life, hoping to find understanding for her confused emotions. She is wrong; neither Werner nor daughter Petra is up to the challenge of the new situation which takes a dramatic course. 

With Cloud 9 director Andreas Dresen (Sommer vorm Balkon) certainly breaks new ground—breaking a few taboos on the way—by treating the love of a couple in their 60s/70s as intimately as we see young lovers on screen. The camera follows close-up into the bedroom and nudity is handled in a totally natural way. One can only admire the three lead actors for their performance. Particularly Ursula Werner convinces in giving her character the right mix of tender care, glowing love and vulnerability.  

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