Leonard Cohen’s 1973 Yom Kippur war concerts to be subject of new TV series

In 1973, Leonard Cohen visited the frontlines of the Yom Kippur war in Israel and performed a series of concerts for soldiers. Now, that trip is being turned into a TV series. Variety reports journalist Matti Friedman’s 2022 book about the trip, Who by Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai, is being made into a limited TV series by Keshet International and Sixty-Six Media, which is set to film in Israel in 2024.

“Moving around the front with a guitar and a pick-up team of local musicians, Cohen dived headlong into a global crisis and met hundreds of fighting men and women at the worst moment of their lives,” reads a description of the series. “Cohen’s audience knew his songs might be the last thing they heard, and those who survived never forgot the experience,” the description continues, adding, “The war tour was an electric cultural moment, one that still echoes today, – but a moment that only few knew about, until now.”

The title of the book and series comes from the track “Who By Fire,” which appeared on Cohen’s fourth studio album, 1974’s New Skin for the Old Ceremony, released after the tour. It is inspired by a Yom Kippur prayer.

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