Film on Leonard Cohen’s muse to open Thessaloniki doc fest


Nick Broomfield’s “Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love,” a film exploring the relationship between Canadian poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen, will open this year’s Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.
The documentary, which premiered at Sundance in late January, chronicles the twists and turns of a complicated romance, from the time they first met in the early 1960s on the Greek island of Hydra, then still a quiet enclave for international artists, and through Cohen’s evolution into a world-renowned artist. The two died three months apart in 2016. The veteran British filmmaker inserts himself into the story as he and Ihlen were friends (and briefly lovers) around that time.

Hosted at the flagship Olympion and Pavlos Zannas cinemas on Aristotelous Square and the red-brick and steel complex on the docks, the 10-day event runs from March 1 to 10.

The full lineup has not yet been made public, but the organizers have already announced a few of the most powerful offerings among the latest in international documentary production.

Thorkell Hardarson’s “Booty” is an Icelandic film about archaeological treasures that have been removed from their original location and the debate about the repatriation of cultural heritage. The documentary takes a look at long-standing disputes, including the case of the Parthenon Marbles, but also at the antiquities looting crisis in the Middle East.

Cambodian-born, France-based director Rithy Panh (who picked up the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes and an Oscar nomination for “The Missing Picture” in 2013) returns with the final part of his Khmer Rouge trilogy, “Graves without a Name.” The film documents a 13-year-old boy’s search for the graves of his family, but also feels like a personal journey of reconciliation with communist party atrocities during the Cambodian Civil War.

In “Soyalism,” Stefano Liberti and Enrico Parenti examine the social and environmental impact of global pork production, an industry apparently controlled by a handful of Western and Chinese multinationals.

Female sexuality is at the center of Swiss filmmaker Barbara Miller’s “#Female Pleasure,” which examines how powerful cultural norms supported by tradition, education and religion play a role in female oppression.

Organizers have announced that Oscar-winning Greek-American director Louie Psihoyos has been given carte blanche to pick his favorite films. The festival will host a screening of his 2009 eco-thriller “The Cove,” an expose of an annual mass dolphin slaughter in a tiny Japanese village.