New Kurt Cobain Documentary Rocks my Mind

Ellie Poling, Editor in Chief

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck premiered on HBO last Monday. The new documentary, made by Brett Morgen and co-produced by Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain, explores Cobain’s life from his birth to his untimely death. With the most extensive collection of home videos and full interviews, this new feature film is the most in depth look at Cobain’s short yet fascinating life. Despite acclaimed books like Heavier Than Heaven by Charles Cross and Kurt Cobain: The Nirvana Years by Carrie Borzillo that established a basic knowledge of Cobain’s life, this documentary gives the full Kurt Cobain experience.

The movie makes use of amazing animation to fill in the gaps of Cobain’s story, giving us a break from endless article and interview clips. The documentary also uses archival drawings from Cobain’s journals to enlighten the viewer. The way Morgen brings Cobain’s drawings to life makes it easier for the viewer to imagine the inner workings of his genius. The first part of the movie sets up the preconditions for Cobain’s troubles later in life. A teen, whose parents got divorced before he turned 9, Cobain, like many other middle class teenagers, turned to marijuana. The drugs were a temporary  fix for a permanent problem. Once Cobain discovered pot wasn’t necessarily the solution to his problems, he stayed sober for a while. However, his wannabe rockstar friends always got him back into the drug scene, as well as his eagerness to escape reality.

The one downside of the documentary, was it’s inability to talk to some of the most influential people in Cobain’s life. Although they talked to both of his parents and his ex-wife, they neglected speaking to Frances, his daughter and Dave Grohl, drummer of Nirvana. Considering Frances helped produce the film, it would’ve been interesting to hear what she had to say about growing up after the explosive career and death of her father. It is understandable, however because she did not get the chance to know her dad. Overall, the documentary seemed to really explore Cobain’s mind in a deeper way that has never been seen or written about before.