Family Struggled with Aspects of Cobain Documentary


Over the weekend, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the fully authorized documentary of the late Nirvana Singer Kurt Cobain Smoking Cigarettefrontman premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Not to our surprise, various reports have relayed that the Brett Morgen-directed film had a number of candid, yet tough moments within it.

During a new interview with Rolling Stone, Morgen discussed a number of scenes in which Cobain’s immediate family struggled with, including ones related to heroin abuse and intimate moments with Courtney Love.

Explained Morgen: “Kim [Cobain’s sister] said to me, ‘My brother was very embarrassed about his heroin use. Do you think he would want this in the film?’ And I said, ‘You know, one thing you’ve always told me is that your brother’s worst fear was that he would influence people to do heroin.’ And for the last 22 years, Kurt’s been associated with heroin, but nobody’s seen the ill effects of it. I’m not a social documentarian, I’m not trying to make a message film — but I’d like to think that scene could serve as a deterrent. So I said, ‘What if, 20 years after your brother’s death, he is able to save a life? What if one person sees that movie and decides not to do smack? What greater legacy, posthumously, could we give Kurt?’

When it came time to show Cobain’s mother, Wendy, the film for the first time, Morgen told her “there were things that no mother should see.

“It was very difficult and painful for me to show her some of the stuff in the third act of the film,” expressed Morgen to Rolling Stone. “I know that she would prefer that not be in the movie, and I don’t blame her. Even seeing him having intimate relations with Courtney – I don’t think Kurt would have wanted Wendy to see that.

“But we weren’t trying to bring him down,” he continued. “We were trying to look him in the eye. I didn’t want to humiliate him. I don’t think there has ever been, or will ever be, another movie about an icon that’s this raw or intimate. Someone involved with the estate’s management saw the film and said to me, ‘You can’t put this out in the world. This is not what people want to see’ I was like, no, man. It’s Kurt Cobain. It needs to be honest.”

As previously reported, Love and daughter Frances Bean, willingly opened up Cobain’s archives so that Morgen could make this film possible.

-Adam Grant

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