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In 1998, UK born director Nick Broomfield released the documentary Kurt & Courtney, an attempt to understand a waning cultural phenomenon that rose fast out of the shadows of Seattle’s rock music scene (later termed “grunge” by the media) in the early nineteen nineties and fell hard in less than a decade with the Suicide of Aberdeen, Washington native and International rock star of band Nirvana, Kurt Cobain. Broomfield, slighted by Courtney Love (Kurt Cobain’s widow and leader of band Hole) and others closest to Cobain early on in his investigation, weaves a tale of Conspiracy, murder, and betrayal using random interviews that focus on exploiting persons with heroin addictions loosely tied (if tied at all) to the rock star-crossed couple. Ultimately, Kurt & Courtney is more like the Making of Kurt & Courtney.

From a directorial point of view, Broomfield’s downfall seems to be method more than for lack of talent. The film is very effective in engaging the audience with colorfully intriguing characters exploited by Broomfield’s ulterior lens. However, such on the fly, credibly questionable tactics are inappropriate for directing a documentary film and would be better suited to television journalism where such techniques are the industry standard. While Bloomfield may have been authentically motivated to make a quality documentary film, it seems his personal feelings at the rejection of his subjects seemed to drive the outcome of the movie.


Works Cited

Kurt & Courtney. Nick Broomfield. Dir. Strength Limited, 1998. Film.



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