3 must-see documentaries about Kurt Cobain

July 28, 2020

Kurt Cobain has been one of the most important music figures in history. Some might even consider Nirvana’s ex-leader a legend amongst legends. But his life was marked by both success and pure darkness. 

Here at Guidedoc we present three documentaries that will take us on a revealing journey to the most mysterious side of Kurt Cobain.

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Kurt & Courtney by Nick Broomfield (1998)


Nick Broomfield was the first person to embark in the dark and mysterious life of Kurt Cobain. He focused specifically in the circumstances of his demise on April 8th of 1994, when he "apparently" shot himself. 

We say "apparently" because this is exactly the point of view that Broomfield takes in his documentary, where he involves Courtney Love, Cobain's wife at that time, in the death of the musician. 

The film merges successfully the genres of the investigative film and the biopic. A gripping documentary where everything is triggered by the circumstances around a hypothetical suicide. 

About A Son by A.J. Schnack (2006)


A.J. Schnack's film on Cobain’s life is definitely the most wholesome one in this list. It's not a sensational depiction of the Seattle musician, and it's neither a film to make you crawl inside a little box and be horrified about the world. It's actually the opposite, which is why it makes it so wonderfully delighting. 

Made out of 25 hours of never-before-heard audio interviews of Cobain by journalist Michael Azerrad, the film gives us another texture, a deeply intimate perspective on this man's life.

Schnack never uses Cobain's image. Instead, the documentary illustrates the audio entirely with an animation of three important cities in Washington that were really important in the life of Kurt Cobain. 

'About a Son' premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2006, and since then has become one of the most important films about Cobain’s image.

Soaked in Bleach by Benjamin Statler (2015) 


If 'Kurt & Courtney' was in fact a window inside the theory that Courtney Love was definitely involved in the death of Kurt Cobain, then 'Soaked in Bleach' is the film that makes this hypothesis not credible at all. 

The film is a docudrama directed by Benjamin Statler, who tries to make his point so hard that the conspiracy theory just falls apart in front of our eyes. 

‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ by Brett Morgen (2015)


Definitely the most insightful in terms of materials that the film production had in order to make the film. It was the first project based on Cobain's life that had the back of members of the family and friends. 

Most importantly, from Cobain's wife Courtney Love, who approached filmmaker Bret Morgen in 2007 with the idea of making a film about the grunge legend. 

The film is made from very personal home videotapes, unreleased songs, videos from live presentations and very personal anecdotes from family members.


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