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MARIANNE & LEONARD – Words of Love

Wednesday 12 February 2020

10.00 am, 2.30 pm, 5.00 pm and 7.15 pm

Directed by Nick Broomfield

Documentary Biography Music

102 min USA

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is renowned filmmaker Nick Broomfield’s most personal and romantic film of his storied career. The couple met on the bohemian island of Hydra in 1960, when Cohen was a struggling and unknown fiction writer, and Norwegian Marianne Ihlen, a single mother with a young son, recovering from an unhappy marriage. They became part of a community of expat artists, writers and musicians. Cohen eventually left to pursue his writing career, and by chance to become a musician. Their relationship ebbed and flowed over successive decades. The love affair inspired one of his most adored songs. “I wrote this song for Marianne, I hope she’s here,” said Cohen at the 1970 Isle of Wight music festival.

Never-before-seen footage shot by Broomfield and legendary documentarian D.A. Pennebaker make for a unique portrait of an idyllic 1960’s bohemia. It was a time that left a lasting imprint on both Marianne and Leonard, whose friendship would last another fifty years before their deaths in 2016. Pertinently director Nick Broomfield (Whitney: Can I Be Me) met Marianne on Hydra in 1968 and she inspired him to make his first film.

“Nick Broomfield’s riveting documentary gives us a vivid snapshot of the early 1960s and a complicated, mysterious love story.” –  Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

“What makes this film unmissable, however, is the fact that we get Marianne’s story more or less in full as well”.  – David Fear, Rolling Stone

“This film is different precisely because Broomfield was a long-time friend of Marianne. His heart is invested, which gives the film a welcome intimacy and warmth.” – Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald