Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song

Watch Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song

  • PG-13
  • 2022
  • 1 hr 55 min
  • 7.6  (1,230)
  • 70

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song is a 2021 documentary that explores the life, music, and legacy of the legendary singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. Focusing particularly on his best-known song, "Hallelujah," the film provides insight into Cohen's creative process as well as the journey of the single, which achieved its iconic status after a prolonged period of public indifference. Directed by Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine, this cinematic tribute weaves together a rich tapestry of interviews, archival footage, and discussions of Cohen's powerful lyrics to paint a multi-dimensional portrait of the artist.

The film goes beyond just covering the basic biographical territories; it delves deeply into the spiritual, poetic, and introspective elements that constitute the essence of Cohen's work and persona. It starts off by laying the groundwork of Cohen's early life, taking watchers through the formative experiences that shaped his artistic sensibilities. We learn about his upbringing in Montreal, his literary ambitions, and how music eventually became his primary mode of expression.

Leonard Cohen's character isn't explored in isolation; the film brings attention to his relationships with collaborators and muses. Figures like Nancy Bacal and Steve Berkowitz, who worked closely with Cohen, provide their perspectives on his artistic evolution and the making of his songs. The documentary also highlights Cohen's connections with other influential musicians and songwriters of his time, illustrating the mutual impact they had on each other's careers.

At the heart of the movie is, of course, the exploration of "Hallelujah," from its inception to its numerous renditions and the diverse interpretations it has inspired worldwide. Through this narrative, the documentary touches upon broader themes of love, loss, faith, doubt, and redemption. The directors skillfully showcase how "Hallelujah," which was initially met with limited commercial success, slowly permeated popular culture to become a phenomenon spanning generations and various musical genres.

However, the documentary is not just a celebration of a single song. It uses "Hallelujah" as a vehicle to explore the complex, sometimes tumultuous nature of Cohen's career. The film delves into the periods of writer's block, the challenges of the music industry, and Cohen's relentless pursuit of perfection in his work. Fans, critics, and fellow musicians weigh in on his impact as a writer and a performer, and the film exposes the reverence and deep appreciation for his unique contribution to music and poetry.

The filmmakers draw from a wealth of archival material, including Cohen's personal notebooks, letters, and photographs, along with rare audio recordings and live performance footage, to offer an intimate look at the life of the man behind the music. The film allows viewers to accompany Cohen on his artistic path, from his early days as a young poet in Canada to his final years, where he was celebrated as one of the most influential songwriters of our time.

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song also incorporates modern-day covers and interpretations, demonstrating the song's lasting influence and the breadth of its appeal. The music is further put into context by commentators who highlight its literary and biblical allusions, unpacking the layers of meaning behind the lyrics and the emotions they convey.

A poignant aspect of the film is its reflection on Cohen's personal growth. It chronicles his search for meaning through various religious and philosophical systems and demonstrates how these explorations profoundly influenced his music and writing. Cohen's spiritual journey—from his Jewish roots to his interest in Buddhist principles and practice—is presented as an ever-present undercurrent in his life, shaping his understanding of the world and his artistic expression.

Overall, Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song serves as a mosaic tribute to an artist who defied categorization, a man whose words and melodies continue to resonate with a timeless quality. It's a film that seeks to provide not just entertainment, but also enlightenment about the mysterious processes of creativity, the endurance of a powerful song, and the life of a man who, in his own way, touched the souls of many. For Cohen enthusiasts and newcomers alike, the documentary is an evocative exploration of how music and poetry can intertwine, creating a legacy that surpasses the confines of genre and era.

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song is a 2022 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 70.

Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song
Where to Watch Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 55 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (1,230)
  • Metascore