“People have been singing Hallelujah for thousands of years, to confirm our little journey here,” says the legendary singer and poet Leonard Cohen at the beginning of this portrait, which centres on his best-known and most-covered song, “Hallelujah.”
This extraordinary film is made up of previously unseen archival 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—rightly revived the song in all its glory.