Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire

Leonard Cohen
Bird on a Wire, The Machat Company

“We’re too broken up to go on,” announces self-proclaimed Montreal chansonnier, European folk singer and synagogue canter hybrid, Leonard Cohen, with sticky tears clinging to his swollen eyes in Jerusalem, the final destination of his 1972 European tour. At the reflective age of 37, Cohen is usually the unwavering eye of the storm—either lulling hits like “Suzanne”, writing poetry while taking a bath or doodling hearts on a fan’s t-shirt amidst the backstage bedlam of flirty French groupies and combative German fans demanding a refund. This 106-minute documentary, directed and edited by Tony Palmer, is a snapshot of Cohen’s career and gripping, voyeuristic reality television before it existed.

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