The Reason Courtney Love Absented Herself From Kurt Cobain Documentary

As the vocalist and songwriter of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain touched upon many musicians’ and audiences’ lives by bringing freshness to mainstream rock music. After he established Nirvana in 1987, he headed towards grunge. The band’s signature songs like ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ ‘Come As You Are,’ and ‘Lithium’ have been still listened to by many people.

Besides his music career, Kurt’s relationship with Courtney Love was also significant considering their controversial lifestyle. As the lead singer of the alternative rock band entitled Hole, Love engaged Kurt’s attention with her success and grunge image. They eventually married and had a daughter named Frances Bean Cobain, spending years loving each other until Kurt took his own life in 1994.

After Cobain’s passing, Courtney wanted to keep Kurt alive with a unique project. She went to director Brett Morgen with the idea of a documentary. Although Courtney was the creator of this idea, she somehow was not involved next to the director Morgen in the production process of the documentary.

Why Was Courtney Love Not Involved In The Documentary’s Process?

The documentary movie ‘Cobain: Montage of Heck’ was released in 2015. It depicted Cobain’s life starting from his birth in Washington in 1967, his career in Nirvana as a frontman, and lastly, his suicide in 1994. The idea of the documentary belonged to Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love. She went to the director Brett Morgen in 2007 to share her vision. Courtney permitted Morgen to use Cobain’s possessions in the movie. However, Morgen began to work with Frances Bean Cobain as the executive producer instead of Love.

According to the news The Hollywood Reporter published in 2014, after Brett started to work with Frances, they thought it was better to keep Courtney out of editorial control because she was one of the main subjects of the movie. Later on, Morgen also stated that Courtney Love gave him editorial control. He added that if Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain, and Wendy O’Connor were not a part of the creating process of the documentary, the movie would not exist.

The director Brett Morgen said in his words:

“At a certain point, I started working more closely with Frances Bean. We all agreed that because Courtney was a subject in the film, it would be best if she wasn’t given editorial control.”

Brett Morgen later added:

“Any suggestion that Courtney was denied editorial involvement couldn’t be further from the truth. It was her idea to let me have control. This film would not exist today without the support of Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain, and Wendy O’Connor.”

Courtney Love laid the foundation of ‘Cobain: Montage of Heck’ by going to Brett Morgen and giving Kurt’s materials to him to use in the documentary. Still, Love voluntarily withdrew herself from next to the director in the movie’s production process. Nonetheless, Love significantly contributed to this documentary as the idea’s originator.