Cloud 9: German film takes risks portraying senior sex and love

Cloud 9 (Wolke Neun) is a 2008 German film about a woman in her sixties, in a routine but loving (and sexually dynamic) marriage of 30 years. Inge, a seamstress, falls first in lust and then in love with a 76-year-old man. This film, winner of several prestigious awards, is slow-paced, full of raw emotion, and — are you sitting down? — filled with one charged sex scene after another. 

Inge (brilliantly acted by Ursula Werner) has sex with her husband (Horst Rehberg), with herself, and several times with her lover (Horst Westphal). The film is graphic by US standards — you see all three characters’ naked bodies, both during lovemaking and just standing or sitting. The film seems to say, “These are the bodies we wear all day, so what’s the big deal? Why hide them?” The sex scenes are tender and erotic, and I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed them.

I have to applaud this film, not only for its refreshing and realistic treatment of senior sex and love, but because they didn’t make Inge an aging sex bomb. Rather, she’s a plain, frumpy woman with a chunky body and pendulous breasts, who sings in a choir and never seems to comb her hair. She’s not beautiful by any means, but she is radiant when she’s sexually turned on — which happens throughout the film — or laughing.

I’m skirting around the plot details because I don’t want to spoil it. Please see it. I welcome your comments (but please don’t give away the ending.)
You won’t find this film in your local movie listings, but Netflix has it, and so does Amazon. Hurray.


  1. Molly on June 8, 2010 at 2:33 pm


    On your recommendation, I got this from Netflix and watched it with another 60s widow who's also on the dating scene again after 30+ years. We both thought it was very well done and had a lot of food for thought, too. As she said to me, "Well, we're not adulterous, but we do know the thrill of a new love at our age. "

  2. Patti McCracken on May 31, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Thanks for recommending this movie. I'll look for it.
    German/Austrian nudity embrace what they call "FKK" -Free Body Culture (Frei Korper Kultur)–it isn't a nudist lifestyle, per se, but a belief and practice that the body is most certainly nothing to be ashamed of. They have, in my opinion, a very healthy attitude about the body, and even sex.

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