Two documentaries paint the life and death of Kurt Cobain

Two documentaries paint the life and death of Kurt Cobain

Graphic by Alex Spadacenta '17

Even if you haven’t heard of  “Nirvana,” you’ve heard of the name Kurt Cobain. At the young age of 27, Cobain, the lead singer and guitarist of the famous rock band “Nirvana,” committed suicide. As his death is still romanticized in the news today, many documentaries have been made in regards to not only his life, but the circumstances of his suicide.

“Soaked In Bleach” and “Montage of Heck” are both documentaries based on the life and death of Kurt Cobain; however, they could not be more different. Released within a month of each other in May and June 2015, “Soaked In Bleach” is through the perspective of Tom Grant, the private investigator hired by Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, shortly before his death, when Cobain suddenly went missing. Grant claims that there is sufficient evidence to prove that Cobain’s wife actually murdered him, and staged his death as a suicide. “Soaked In Bleach,” takes a murder mystery angle, raising serious concerns and questions by his fans.

“This woman’s (Love’s) husband had just been found dead and there didn’t seem to be any sadness (expressed by love) whatsoever,” Grant said. “It’s not very often that a private investigator accuses his client of committing a crime.”

However, “Montage of Heck” documents Cobain’s life and his success with “Nirvana,” only touching on his death at the very end of the film. Cobain’s only daughter, Frances Bean, was a co-executive producer on the film. This documentary is used to emphasize the struggles Cobain went through in order to finally achieve success, not to focus entirely on the ruling of Cobain’s death.

According to Rolling Stone, Frances Bean Cobain described “Montage of Heck” as “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,” Bean Cobain said. “It paints a portrait of a man attempting to cope with being a human.”

Yet, Nirvana fans have very mixed emotions on both of the documentaries. Long time “Nirvana” fan Anais Kermoal ’19 stated that, “For some [Nirvana fans], ‘Soaked in Bleach’ can’t persuade them at all, but for some it can change their opinions right away,” Kermoal said. “Same for ‘Montage of Heck,’ although it’s not trying to get a certain point across like the death of Kurt, it makes them believe he was just troubled.”