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Originally made in 1972 and directed by celebrated British filmmaker Tony Palmer, Bird on a Wire follows Leonard Cohen on his 1972 European tour and contains 17 classic performances, four poems and tour footage.
Using a recently discovered dubbing track of the film as a guide, Tony Palmer salvaged the cans of damaged film that were found by Frank Zappa's manager, Herb Cohen, in a Hollywood warehouse and edited some of the footage into this first-ever authorized release of Leonard Cohen 'Bird on a Wire', which tells the story of Cohen s 20-city European tour that began in Dublin on March 18th 1972 and ended on April 21st in Jerusalem.
From Leonard's frustration with the malfunctioning speakers that ravaged the tour, to his story of how he lost the rights to 'Suzanne', to his thoughts on being Jewish, this documentary gives an intimate portrait of life on the road, as well as of Cohen himself.
Palmer splices Vietnam War footage and home movies from Cohen's childhood into the performance footage, creating a powerful testament to the singer's unique fusion of poetry and politics.