I don't give movies ten stars. It's never happened before, honestly. And while this movie (technically a documentary) could have been organized slightly better, or included a few more facts about the case, it was perfect, and here's why:
Tom Grant is an honest and ethical man who cares about getting the truth out about the circumstances surrounding Cobain's death. He has doggedly pursued this case for years with a tenacity rarely matched in our blurb and instant gratification culture. But Cobain deserves better than that, and Grant gives it to him. And so does director Benjamin Statler, and all the other people who have given their time to this film and to the investigation over the years. The film is made and presented with the utmost respect to the person who matters the most: Kurt Cobain.
What you will find in this film are the unadulterated facts of the case, interviews with respected individuals such as former Chief of Police, Norm Stamper (who was Seattle's police chief at the time of Kurt's death), renowned forensic experts, the paramedic who was first at the scene, and more, presented in an interesting and highly revelatory context. But what takes the movie over the edge--in terms of believability, is it's strict adherence to the truth. There is no hyperbole, no name-calling, just a quiet and persistent pursuit of the truth. As viewers, we are presented with facts and the systematic disapproval of myths within a relevant and non-cheesy reenactment. And while Courtney's character is difficult to watch--due to the surrounding drug culture as well as her stunning coldness in regards to Kurt's genuine well being, it doesn't feel contrived at all. Coupled, with actual recordings of Courtney, as well as public knowledge of Courtney's truly erratic behavior over the years, the reenactments are lend a pertinent narrative.
Many people have written off this movie (without even seeing it) for illogical reasons. They believe:
-The media reports which are filled with misinformation, some intentionally planted. These include: Cobain was barricaded in the room, Cobain left his driver's license out so that he could be identified, Cobain was locked in the greenhouse in such a way that only he could have done, Cobain left a suicide note, Cobain was suicidal at the time, Cobain had tried to commit suicide in Rome, Cobain could have lifted the shotgun on that amount of heroin because he was a hardcore junkie, Cobain loved Courtney and would never leave her, Cobain was helpless.
-They have bought into Courtney's shtick and believe she is cool because she breaks the rules. These people argue that accusing Courtney is anti-feminist and that she is unfairly persecuted in the media. ( In fact (as we hear in taped conversation), Courtney admits to planting stories, a missing persons report, and manipulating the media on several occasions. Most importantly however, she had motive. It's hard for deluded people to get their heads around this. I dare these people to view this film.)
-It's old news, just another attempt to make money off of Kurt's death. (The ethics for reopening the case should be abundantly clear as any person deserves this, but a person with Kurt's sway even more so--there are 68 copycat type suicides on record linked to Cobain.)
-Tom Grant is a blow hard and just can't let it go. It's his one claim to fame. He's a sucky PI. (Actually, Tom Grant has conducted the investigation with persistence, decency, and a relentless pursuit of the truth, over any of his own opinions. It's all there.)
I would encourage any person who claims to care about Kurt to see this film for the most important reason of all: he deserves it. As of the time of this writing, Courtney has made every effort to stop this film from being shown, even going so far as to send "Cease and Desist" orders to theaters showing it. No joke.
It's a hard watch and so sad, but cathartic too. RIP Kurt. And may the truth finally be known.
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