Morgen said he made the film so that Frances, now 22 but not even three when Cobain took his life in 1995, could know her father. Upon seeing the film for the first time, Morgen said that Frances thanked him for “giving her a couple hours with [her] father that [she] never had.” But it’s Morgen who should be thanking her. Without Frances involved, Kurt’s mother Wendy O’Connor and father Donald Cobain, neither of whom had ever agreed before to appear on camera to discuss Kurt, would not have taken part in Montage of Heck. They kept checking in to make sure Frances was on board with Morgen’s plan.
“Eric would come over to our house and he would shoot really intimate stuff of me and Kurt,” Love said.
Morgen admitted that even he doesn’t totally understand the trio’s dynamic: “If you two are together and I’m Eric, the ex-boyfriend, my thought would be that [Kurt] would be possessive, or that he’d not want to make [Eric] uncomfortable. Kurt was neither.”
To which Love said, “That’s just the way Eric is. Let’s move on.”
One aspect of Cobain’s life that has remained shrouded in some mystery to the public: his ongoing stomach pain. Montage of Heck doesn’t gloss over this, but it was Courtney’s answer to a fan question that really explained how debilitating it was for Cobain. (Kurt’s mother also suffers from similar issues.)
“We had really nascent, young management around us at the time,” she said. “They were really irresponsible. I don’t think they meant to be, but they were. I think he should have been taken to the Mayo Clinic, but we did have Cedars-Sinai [the LA hospital] available to us, so he went there a few times for Crohn’s Disease, endoscopies, a biopsy.”