There’s no doubt if you’ve stepped into a church in the last decade or two you’ve heard Hallelujah, the deep and emotional call to the heavens. A song that was written by a Jewish poet wasn’t ever meant to be about religion. An anthem that many people feel deep in their soul and will sing along with even if they’re not religious – Hallelujah seems to be one of those musical moments that everyone can connect to and won’t change the dial when it comes on. But there’s more to the song and the story of how it even came to be.
The new documentary from Sony Classic Pictures, Hallelujah brings light to just what made this song so impactful. Not just to audiences, but to Leonard Cohen, the man who wrote it. How many musicians have found their own voices with the tune and how it even hopped genres over the years. It gives viewers a deeper understanding of the man who wrote the lyrics, and their actual meaning and reveals extra lyrics that most people have yet to hear.
Hallelujah may be one of the most popular songs heard in churches and even by people who don’t attend. But its influence goes way beyond what you would expect from a non-secular song that is adopted by so many as a religious anthem. The documentary confronts assumptions about the song, its origin, and the meaning behind the lyrics. But it also gives you a deeper appreciation for the lesser heard lyrics, and what the intention of the actual song is, not just to be belted out in churches and religious ceremonies.
Yes, the song is played multiple times throughout the whole documentary. So many that we lost count. And you will end up with it stuck in your head for hours if not long after you watch the film. But the history behind the song and the man who wrote it is worth it. The documentary is a must for music lovers and fans of Cohen. Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song will be released in Detroit in select theaters on August 5th.
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About HALLELUJAH: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song
HALLELUJAH: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song is a definitive exploration of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen as seen through the prism of his internationally renowned hymn, “Hallelujah.” This feature-length documentary weaves together three creative strands: The songwriter and his times; the song’s dramatic journey from record label reject to chart-topping hit; and moving testimonies from major recording artists for whom “Hallelujah” has become a personal touchstone. Approved for production by Leonard Cohen just before his 80th birthday in 2014, the film accesses a wealth of 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.
Directed by Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine(SONY PICTURES CLASSICS)