Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song

Directed by Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine

“There is a religious Hallelujah, but there are many other ones.
When one looks at the world, there's only one thing to say, and it's Hallelujah.
That's the way it is.” — Leonard Cohen

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song is the definitive exploration of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen as seen through the prism of his internationally renowned hymn, Hallelujah. Released by Sony Pictures in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on 16 September, this feature-length documentary weaves together three creative strands: the songwriter and his times; the song’s journey from record label reject to chart-topping hit; and moving testimonies from major recording artists for whom Hallelujah has become a personal touchstone, such as Jeff Buckley, Joan Wasser, Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor and Judy Collins.

Approved for production by Leonard Cohen just before his 80th birthday in 2014, the film accesses a wealth of exclusive and never-before-seen archival materials from the Cohen Trust including Cohen’s personal notebooks, journals and photographs, performance footage, and extremely rare audio recordings and interviews. Collaborators, contemporaries and friends - such as legendary producers John Lissauer and Hal Willner, singer-songwriter Sharon Robinson and photographer Dominque Isserman - lend their insights to create an emotive portrait of the seminal song and Cohen’s legacy.

The documentary makers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine began their filmmaking as a very specific exploration of Hallelujah and its international impact - whether to entertain (like the audiences who hear Wainright’s cover recorded for Shrek), commemorate life’s important moments at weddings and funerals, or to serve as a communal healing, like the song’s use during the Covid-19 memorial service on the eve of the January 2021 US Presidential inauguration. Inspired by the book ‘The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of Hallelujah’ by Alan Light, they were moved by seeing Cohen perform the song during one of his last world tours.

A Ballet of Lepers is an uncovered novel & stories written by Leonard Cohen between 1956 in Montreal, just as Cohen was publishing his first poetry collection, and 1961, when he’d settled on Greece’s Hydra island. The pieces in this collection offer startling insight into Cohen’s imagination and creative process, and explore themes that would permeate his later work, from shame and unworthiness to sexual desire to longing, whether for love, family, freedom or transcendence. Published in the UK by Canongate Books on 11th October 2022, available to pre-order now.

We have a poster signed by the filmmakers and copies of Leonard Cohen’s book of short stories, A BALLET OF LEPERS to give away!

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