Montage Of Heck director Brett Morgen has hailed Frances Bean Cobain for making his job as easy as possible.
It was Kurt Cobain’s daughter who convinced the Nirvana frontman’s mother that a controversial scene showing Cobain clearly high on drugs was the right thing to do.
In the scene, Cobain is seen with baby Frances in his arms, barely able to keep his eyes open while under the influence of narcotics. Kurt’s mother Wendy was not happy with the picture it painted of her son.
Morgen tells Billboard: “When Kurt’s mother voiced some concerns about the way she was depicted, and the way Kurt was seen in the latter stages of his life, it was Frances who called and said, ‘Grandma, this is not your film. This is Kurt’s film, and how you experience things is quite different than the way Kurt experienced things.’
“I think the point was if we allow our mothers to dictate the content of our biographies they would be pretty nice. Of course the mother doesn’t want to show her child in any light that’s less than favourable. But it was Frances’ desire to not hide the truth, and I think that both Frances and I arrived at the same point, which was we were not trying to tear Kurt down or put Kurt down, nor were we trying to put him on a pedestal.
“We were simply trying to look him in the eye, to empathise, to find a point of entry in which we can understand how he experienced life.”
The critically-acclaimed film depicts the highs and lows of Cobain’s short life, which ended with his suicide in 1994 at the age of 27. Frances Bean, says Morgen, wanted the documentary to be as raw and honest as possible.
He adds: “At our first meeting, after we shook hands, I sat down at a table with Frances and before I could pitch her the film I wanted to make, she proceeded to tell me that she thought that whatever film was constructed should lean heavily on Kurt’s art, and if nothing else, it needed to be honest.
“What she went on to say is that during her travels through life, people are constantly coming up to her talking about Kurt as if he was some sort of mythical character, like a unicorn or a Santa Claus. She said, ‘The best way we can pay tribute to Kurt is to create a film that’s honest. That is what Kurt was about, honesty and integrity, and so don’t shy from the truth.’”
The Montage Of Heck soundtrack is due for release in December.