The Cloud Door, a short Indo-German drama film from 1994, was directed by Mani Kaul. It featured Hindu erotic literary themes and was produced by Regina Ziegler. The Cloud Door was included in Ziegler Films’ collection of short erotic movies called Erotic Tales.
Mani Kaul used three literary sources to create it:
- The Sanskrit drama Avimaraka was written around the 5th-7th centuries by Bhasa.
- The Sufi epic love poetry Padmavat wrote in the 13th Century by Mohammed Jayasi.
- The erotic Indian stories Sukasaptati.
A parrot tells his daughter erotic stories to an Indian king. He is furious and wants to kill the bird. The princess intervenes to save the parrot’s existence by explaining to her dad that the bird doesn’t know what it is saying. The bird flew to the princess’s lover and led him through a maze to her private chambers. The night is spent in love between the princess and her lover.
The Cloud Door, a part of the Erotic Tales program, was shown once in January 1995 to the public at the International Film Festival of India. Despite India’s rich history in erotic literature and folk art, Kaul, known for his aesthetic work, had never made an Indian erotic movie before. Despite India’s rich history of erotic folk art and literature, Kaul, known for his aesthetic work, had never made an Indian erotic film before. The film was also shown at the Munich and Locarno International Film Festival. It was also shown at the New York Film Festival.
Todd McCarty, a Variety reviewer, said The Cloud Door is full of sensual and humorous imagery that flows like a folk story. Perhaps beautiful nothingness, but still nothingness. While the actors are undoubtedly beautiful, and the sets and costumes are stunning, this film has few memorable moments.