‘Montage of Heck’ director says ‘Kurt Cobain died of a broken heart’

Brett Morgan says Cobain's suicide was 'ultimately about his search for family'

Brett Morgen, the director of new Kurt Cobain documentary Cobain: Montage of Heck has said that the Nirvana frontman “died of a broken heart”.

Speaking in the new issue of NME, which is on newsstands now and available digitally, the director details finding Cobain’s “actual suicide letter” and how following his research on the Nirvana frontman, it “made no sense”.

He revealed: “I found his actual suicide letter, which was unexpected. I just opened up this heart shaped box and there it was. And I was like ‘Based on everything I’ve witnessed, this makes no sense.’ Kurt didn’t have a problem with quitting music; he talked about it openly. If he wanted to stop performing, he would just stop. Nothing was leading up to that suicide letter.”

“It was ultimately about his search for family,” Morgan continued. “He didn’t feel like he had a family, but he desperately wanted one. So the second that Nirvana broke he asked Courtney to have a child. You’re 25 years old, you’re the biggest rock star in the world – having a baby isn’t a very common reaction, you know?”

In an interview with Morgan towards the end of the documentary, Courtney Love reveals Cobain tried to kill himself in Rome on March 3, 1994 because he knew she was “thinking about” cheating on him.

According to Morgan, it was this that contributed to the singer’s suicide on April 5, 1994.

He stated: “You can see in the film he put all his eggs in one basket. And so when that was broken in his mind, there was this sense of humiliation. Kurt Cobain died of a broken heart.

“He thought his wife cheated on him, and her and Frances were all he had. The film invests a lot in trying to understand why Kurt would react the way he did to betrayal. We try to find the square root of it.”

The fully-authorised documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January but arrives in UK cinemas this spring. It will receive its US television premiere on HBO on May 4. Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain served as an executive producer on the project.

Last week (April 2) a new clip from the film emerged, showing Kurt Cobain choosing Nirvana’s bandname.

Other names considered by Cobain included The Reaganites, The Mandibles, Cold and Wet, Window Pain, Fecal Matter, Drugs For Sale and Erectum. Interestingly, many of these have since become actual band names for other Nirvana-inspired groups.

Morgen revealed last month (March) that Cobain: Montage of Heck will feature a previously unheard 12-minute long acoustic Kurt Cobain track. Speaking previously to Rolling Stone, Morgen said that the film’s score “is all unreleased Cobain music”.

However, noticeably absent from Cobain: Montage of Heck is Cobain’s former Nirvana bandmate Dave Grohl, who was interviewed for the documentary too late for his contributions to be included in the current edit, Morgen explained in January.