Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is a beautiful yet tragic love story between Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse, Marianne Ihlen. Their love began on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra in 1960 as part of a bohemian community of foreign artists, writers, and musicians. The film follows their relationship from the early days on Hydra, a humble time of “free love” and open marriage, to how their love evolved when Leonard became a successful musician.
It was on Hydra in 1968 that director Nick Broomfield, then age 20, first met Marianne Ihlen. Marianne introduced him to Leonard Cohen’s music and also encouraged Broomfield to make his first film. She was an enormous influence on him. Marianne and Leonard’s was a love story that would continue for the rest of their lives. Along the way we learn of the tragedy that befell those that could not survive the beauty of Hydra, the highs and lows of Leonard’s career, and the inspirational power that Marianne possessed.
Nick Broomfield is a British filmmaker best known for his award-winning documentaries. His previous work includes Whitney: Can I Be Me, Tales of the Grim Sleeper, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer, and The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife. His film Battle for Haditha dramatized the Haditha massacres in Iraq.