Roving reporter Nick Broomfield sets out to discover whether there is any truth in the various conspiracy theories surrounding the death in 1994 of Nirvana's lead singer, Kurt Cobain. In addition to Cobain's aunt and a former girlfriend, Broomfield talks to the father of Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, who speculates as to her role in Cobain's suicide. When Love refuses to co-operate with the making of the documentary, Broomfield decides to confront her with the evidence he has amassed.
Kurt & Courtney, despite the title, is not really a film about the late Nirvana singer and his wife. Rather, in the gonzo style familiar from other Broomfield productions (Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam, Biggie & Tupac), it's a film about making a film about the late Nirvana singer and his wife. The approach is initially engaging, as Broomfield's self-conscious haplessness is a refreshing change from the infallible omniscience that documentary presenters usually seek to project. But by the end it's difficult to avoid the conclusion that Broomfield is hamming it up somewhat to distract attention from his failure to produce anything substantial.
Broomfield sets out to delve into the persistent rumours that Cobain's death was not suicide, but murder possibly arranged with Love's connivance. By way of investigation, he speaks to people who claim, with wildly varying levels of plausibility, acquaintance with Cobain and Love. Some are interesting, particularly Love's arrestingly unpleasant father, who believes that his daughter killed her husband, and Kurt's charmingly guileless aunt. Too many of the rest are stoned, stupid or palpably insane, and Broomfield ends up little the wiser for speaking to any of them. Between interviews, Broomfield tries to manufacture tension with a series of heavy but never-quite-substantiated hints that Love is pulling strings to hamper his progress. The final confrontation between filmmaker and subject is one of the most colossal anti-climaxes ever caught on tape. --Andrew Mueller
From the Back Cover
A characteristically unflinching, daring and contentious work, Nick Broomfields Kurt and Courtney sheds fascinating new light on the life and death of Nirvana leader and iconic generational spokesperson Kurt Cobain. After interviewing various Cobain associates in an attempt to examine the unexplained circumstances surrounding the singers apparent suicide, the acclaimed documentarist (Fetishes, Heidi Fleiss Hollywood Madam, Biggie and Tupac) suddenly finds his progress strenuously obstructed by Courtney Love, Cobains wife, who becomes a fearsome adversary. Could Love, now a respected Hollywood actress (The People vs. Larry Flynt) and musician in her own right be somehow implicated in Cobains untimely demise?
Seemingly putting his own life at risk by posing the questions that others dare not ask, Kurt and Courtney is both a compelling search for truth and a revealing and insightful look into Cobains troubled life. A fascinating examination of power and corruption, its also a telling peek into the paranoid world of celebrity and a testimony to the importance of free speech and the freedom of the press.