It’s hard to believe that it’s been 21 years since the shocking death of Kurt Cobain but many of today’s moms can remember being young Nirvana fans when the devastating news of his suicide began circulating. While it was horrifying enough that he had taken his life, it was doubly sad because he left behind his one-year-old daughter, Frances Bean.
More than two decades later, HBO is releasing a documentary about his life and many have wondered how she, now a woman, would react to the portrayal of a father she barely knew. While it doesn’t air until next month, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck premiered in Hollywood and Frances, along with her mother, Courtney Love, was in the audience showing her support.
At the screening, the 22-year-old unexpectedly took to the stage and is quoted as saying:
“The reason I wanted to come up here and speak to all of you is because I have seen this movie now six times. Initially upon seeing it, I felt like I could only watch it once. The reason I’ve been able to watch it six times is because of the film Brett [Morgen] made … I didn’t know Kurt, but I feel very strongly that he would be exceptionally proud of this film.”
Just hearing the frankness of the admission that she didn’t know her father is enough to give someone a lump in their throat. While Frances may have grown up with some luxuries that most of us will never enjoy, she will never truly know the man who she so resembles and, as such, must rely on these films as much as fans in order to have a better understanding of who he really was.
She went on to say to the crowd: “It touches on some dark subjects but at the end of the day, I think that this film provides fans of Nirvana, or not fans of Nirvana, a basic understanding of who Kurt was as a human being. I think that’s been lost within romanticism and the myth of him and his story. What this movie will provide hopefully is a real understanding of who he was. And I feel like he’d be really proud to have this movie made about him. So I’d like to thank Brett a lot.”
For his part, director Brett Morgen explained that he believes the film helped Frances who, he said, has no memory of her father. The chance to bridge that gap in her knowledge and understanding “was a privilege and an honor” to the filmmaker who added: “I’m a father of three and the opportunity to give Frances that time with her father that she never had was really important to me. She wasn’t going to go into that storage facility. That would be insane and ridiculous. Someone had to go in there and put this story together for her.”
The documentary is already garnering critical acclaim. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck debuts May 4 on HBO.