Irish Film Institute -Kurt and Courtney

Kurt and Courtney

Director: Nick Broomfield

Controversial British documentarist Nick Broomfield (Heidi Fleiss, Hollywood Madam, Fetishes) here tackles the story of grunge music icon Kurt Cobain and punk’s bad girl turned movie star, Courtney Love. In April 1994, Cobain was found dead in his Pacific Northwest home, an apparent victim of suicide. His death, though foreshadowed by troubles with drugs and depression, shocked the world. As lead singer and songwriter for the seminal rock group Nirvana, Cobain had touched the core of a generation with music that reflected the anguish, loneliness and confusion of growing up in a world shattered by unravelling families and values.
Three years after Cobain’s death, Nick Broomfield set out to make a feature film about the unconventional love story behind the headlines. What emerges is the story of two young people drawn to each other by what they shared – an intense need for affection denied them as children and a desire to escape into drugs – and torn apart by their different desires and reactions to fame as they embarked on a torrid relationship that was played out in the public arena.
Broomfield’s film introduces us to dozens of Kurt and Courtney’s friends, family and acquaintances. Courtney Love’s father accuses his daughter of murder and other mayhem, while a singer from an underground SandM scene claims to have been offered money by Love to kill Cobain. When Broomfield, following up on leads, questions Love about her possible involvement in Cobain’s death, the film becomes a startling commentary on documentary filming and tabloid sensationalism, with its subject expanding from Kurt and Courtney to the cult of celebrity and the ethics of journalism. The film-maker resorts to increasingly kamikaze style tactics as Love tries to prevent him completing the film.

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