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Leonard and marianne copyright aviva layton

IDFA - Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

Nick Broomfield / GB, 2019 / 102 min.

In 1960, 26-year-old Canadian writer Leonard Cohen fled his home town of Montreal and ended up on the Greek island of Hydra. There he met Marianne Ihlen, the Norwegian woman who would become the lover and muse he immortalized in his song “So Long, Marianne.”

Poster idfa 2019 2 0

They lived happily together for many years in this sun-drenched paradise, where a close-knit community of artists practiced free love. But everything changed when Cohen reinvented himself as a singer-songwriter, moved to New York and became an international star. British filmmaker Nick Broomfield spent time on Hydra as a 20-year-old student and had a brief affair with Marianne.

He traces the tragic love story of the artist and his muse through personal archive material, interviews and poetic voice-overs by Cohen and Ihlen. A melancholy, intimate and dreamlike film about fame and its darker side, about sexual freedom in the 1960s, and undying love.



Nick Broomfield

Production year





102 min.


English, Norwegian



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