It’s hard to fathom that it’s been 21 years since Kurt Cobain, former lead singer and guitarist for Nirvana, took his own life. His monumental success in life and his death at such an early age has inspired several documentaries and books trying to get at the heart of the man and what he meant now just to music, but to a generation that felt a connection to Nirvana’s music and lyrics.
This Monday night on HBO, another filmmaker, aided by Cobain’s wife Courtney Love and daughter Francis Bean Cobain and given access to Cobain’s personal archives, will try to shed some light on the man behind the music icon. Brett Morgen’s documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, which has already had a limited release theatrically in the United States and the United Kingdom, is the first of its kind to have the full cooperation and support of Cobain’s family. Morgen’s goal was to create a holistic account of Cobain’s life not just as rock legend and symbol for a generation, but as a human being who had thoughts of family, friendship, and happiness on his mind.
As so many other authors and filmmakers have tried to explore Cobain’s life and struggles to varying success, it will be interesting to see how Morgen’s access to Cobain’s pictures, writings, and recordings will give a richer, crisper picture of who Cobain was and how he was shaped into the man he became.
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck premieres Monday, May 4, at 9:00 PM on HBO.