ZAMEK Culture Centre

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dir. Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine, USA 2021, 115'

“People have been singing Hallelujah for thousands of years, to confirm our little journey here,” says the legendary Canadian singer and poet Leonard Cohen at the beginning of this portrait, which centers on his best-known and most-covered song, “Hallelujah.” The film is made up of previously unseen archive material from concerts, radio and TV interviews with Cohen himself, and conversations with people who played an important role in his life and the (re)creation of the song.

The various chapters are devoted to the development of Cohen’s career and the origins of “Hallelujah.” Cohen worked on the song for seven years, eventually putting more than 150 verses on paper. Due to an uncooperative record label boss, the song quietly flopped when it was originally released. But covers by a long line of other artists—like the legendary version by Jeff Buckley and the rendition by Rufus Wainwright for the soundtrack of the animated movie "Shrek"—rightly revived the song in all its glory.

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