Run time: 118 mins

Six years on since his death, this retrospective on Leonard Cohen’s life and work is a meditation of the universal success he achieved with ‘Hallelujah’.


Since 1984, the strains of Hallelujah have connected with listeners of Cohen and its 600-odd cover-artists across the globe. Directed by Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine, this wide-ranging documentary uses the hit song as the basis to explore Cohen’s artistic development and the story of ‘Hallelujah’’s creation and popularity. Personal testimonials from industry figures feature throughout, with photographer Dominique Issermann, singer-songwriter Eric Church, and music journalist Larry Sloman (amongst others) discussing the lasting impact of Cohen’s work.


Though the song is arguably now one of the most recognisable tunes in history, its backstory, like Cohen’s, is one of long-term resilience. The record was initially rejected in an unprecedented move by Columbia Records and failed to achieve any marked popularity at the time of its release. When DreamWorks included Rufus Wainwright’s cover of it in the soundtrack to its iconic 2001 animation, however, Hallelujah began to get the recognition Cohen was sure it deserved.


A story of spirituality, storytelling, and song-writing, it’s a highly-sensitive portrayal of the surprising interconnections between the man and his work.  


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