Films & Schedules

  • Cloud 9
    Wolke 9

  • Andreas Dresen

98 minutes

Production Company:
Rommel Film E.K.
Peter Rommel
Andreas Dresen, Cooky Ziesche, Laila Stieler, Jörg Hauschild
Production Designer:
Susanne Hopf
Michael Hammon
Jörg Hauschild
Peter Schmidt
Principal Cast: Ursula Werner, Horst Rehberg, Horst Westphal, Steffi Kühnert

Canadian Distributor:
Mongrel Media
International Sales Agent:
The Match Factory

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Andreas Dresen's Cloud 9 opens with a frankly graphic (but not exploitative) scene involving a man and woman in their advanced years having raucous sex, setting the tone for an intense, emotional and surprising film.

The scene is the spark that sets a love triangle aflame. Inge (Ursula Werner, a regular in Dresen's films) lives happily in a faceless East Berlin housing complex with her long-time husband Werner (Horst Rehberg), a rather stoic type devoted to recordings of steam trains. Inge does clothing repairs, and upon delivering a mended pair of pants to Karl (Horst Westphal), tumbles into his arms. She is matter-of-fact about it with her husband and, later, her daughter. They are horrified and feel betrayed, emotions Inge doesn't quite understand. At this stage in life, her desires, no matter how selfish, should be valid. She has earned that right. She subsequently moves in with Karl, and the way she sets about recalibrating her life forms the dramatic basis of the film.

Dresen's work has a hypnotically stripped-down style, a kind of minimalist romanticism. The sparseness of his cinematography and script creates a wonderfully anxious tension. Cloud 9 is much like his tonally perfect Summer in Berlin, which also involved three average people tripping over the selfishness inherent in the act of falling in love.

Eschewing a conventional screenplay, Dresen collaborated with Cooky Ziesche, Laila Stieler and Jörg Hauschild to develop the story. Even more crucially, Dresen is a gifted director of actors – his films are full of improvisation, and Cloud 9 is no exception. The pain and joy expressed by these characters is so real and distinct as to make us look into our own souls to remember those who we may have hurt by our own acts of love. That sense of spiritual catharsis brings us back to the film's oblique, utopian title.

Cameron Bailey

Andreas Dresen was born in Gera, Germany, and studied filmmaking at the Film & Television Academy “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam-Babelsberg. He began his career working in theatre and television, as well as writing and directing short films. His feature films include Night Shapes (99), Grill Point (02), Willenbrock (05), Summer in Berlin (05), which played at the Festival in 2005, and Cloud 9 (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award