As the comments section for our review of the Kurt Cobain conspiracy docudrama “Soaked In Bleach” indicate, lots of people have very strong feelings regarding the death of the Nirvana frontman. The film from Benjamin Statler uses interviews and re-enactments to investigate the questions around Cobain’s demise, as seen through the POV of private investigator Tom Grant. The movie suggests that there’s sufficient evidence to re-open the case, but Courtney Love, who has been implicated by some conspiracy theorists for being involved in or having information about alleged details of Cobain’s death, is trying to halt cinemas from showing “Soaked In Bleach.”
Via her laywers, the musician/actress has sent cease-and-desist letters to theaters showing the film (which is available on Vimeo). Part of the letter reads: “The Film falsely presents a widely and repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory that accuses Ms. Cobain of orchestrating the death of her husband Kurt Cobain.”
However, the film’s producers aren’t down with being bullied and issues this statement to Deadline:
We were disturbed to learn that Courtney Love’s lawyers sent threatening letters to movie theaters all over the country. Most arrived before Soaked in Bleach was released last week, presumably before she or her lawyers ever saw it. She obviously hoped to scare theater owners into dropping the film. Thankfully, very few were intimidated. Most saw the letter for what it is – a cowardly attack on the rights of free speech, free expression and free choice.
Courtney Love’s uninformed accusations and efforts to discredit the film are totally off base. The film examines the well documented facts surrounding the death of Kurt Cobain and it questions much of what the public has been told about those events. Most of the opinions and theories presented in the film come directly from facts gathered by Tom Grant, the private investigator Courtney Love hired the week before Kurt’s body was discovered. Tom quickly became suspicious and tape recorded all his conversations with Courtney and others in the days leading up to and after Kurt’s death. The film uses those recordings to reenact Tom’s encounters with Courtney Love and others in Kurt’s inner circle. It also presents the views of Norm Stamper, Seattle’s Police Chief at the time, and Dr. Cyril Wecht, a leading forensic pathologist, who both question whether Kurt could have committed suicide.
Courtney Love and her lawyers clearly don’t like that the film presents a compelling case for re-opening the investigation into Kurt’s death. They should respect the First Amendment and let people decide for themselves.
Now, I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t imagine what legal precedent could be cited to prevent theaters from screening “Soaked In Bleach.” It may be that Love has only ensured that more people will be curious to see what she doesn’t want them to.