The highly anticipated documentary featuring Kurt Cobain's early years will premiere on HBO on May 24. Co-produced by Cobain's daughter, Frances Bean, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck is said to be a raw look at the fragile Nirvana singer/songwriter.
This is the first Cobain documentary made with the full approval of the family. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen was granted the rights to use Cobain's copious notebooks, drawings and mix tapes. The title of the film was taken from Cobain's 1988 mix tape, shown here. Morgen also interviewed a number of family members, including Courtney Love and her daughter for the film.
The documentary includes never-before-seen footage from Cobain's childhood and portrays his struggles which he attempted to quell by pouring out his feelings on his cassette tapes. There is also copious Nirvana footage and previously unreleased songs.
"People didn't realize how very funny Kurt Cobain was, or how romantic he was, or what a doting father he was. Ultimately the mythology of the man is that he was in pursuit of fame, and then he didn't want fame anymore. I hope this film shatters that illusion," Morgen told BBC. "I think Kurt, the child of divorce, was in pursuit of family his whole life, and when that became defiled that's what ultimately led him to take his own life. But I didn't make this film for fans. I made it for Frances," he said.
When asked by David Fricke of Rolling Stone to describe the film, Frances Bean calls it "Emotional Journalism. It's the closest thing to having Kurt tell his own story in his own words – by his own aesthetic, his own perception of the world. It paints a portrait of a man attempting to cope with being a human."
"Kurt got to the point where he eventually had to sacrifice every bit of who he was to his art, because the world demanded it of him," She continued. "I think that was one of the main triggers as to why he felt he didn't want to be here and everyone would be happier without him. My dad was exceptionally ambitious. But he had a lot thrown on him, exceeding his ambition. He wanted his band to be successful. But he didn't want to be the fucking voice of a generation."
Watch Rolling Stone photographer Mark Seliger and Editor David Fricke talk about their experiences photographing and interviewing Cobain.
Watch the Official Trailer:
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck premiered during the Sundance Film Festival on January 25. After its television premiere on HBO on May 24, the film will have a limited theatrical run.