DirectorDonald Brittain & Don Owen
This internationally-acclaimed classic, directed by Donald Brittain and Don Owen for the National Film Board of Canada, is a captivating portrait of the novelist and poet Leonard Cohen at age 30, before his breakthrough on the world stage as a popular singer-songwriter. The documentary follows Cohen as he travels from his then-home in Hydra, Greece, to his hometown of Montreal—where he “comes to renew his neurotic affiliation.” Cohen is seen reading his poems (mainly from The Spice-Box of Earth and Flowers for Hitler) to a rapt crowd, hanging out with friends, strolling the streets of Westmount where he grew up, and staying in the three-dollar-a-night hotel that serves as his “sanctuary.” The film reveals Cohen’s wit, lightness, and sense of humour. Some of his public appearances take on the funny, anecdotal reflections of a stand-up comic. An intimate and illuminating look at the artist as a young man.