About The Film
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 Wainright, 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.