The epithets affixed to legendary iconoclast Jim Morrison, many by his own tongue, reveal a genuine paradox: Morrison appears to have been whomever his audience demanded he be at any given moment. Nearly 50 years after he seized the zeitgeist amidst one of history's most revolutionary decades, and based solely on his having fashioned (however ironically) the quintessential rock star prototype, his impact as a performer remains largely confined to the domain of parody. And yet Morrison's electric ghost haunts each new generation. Such a persistent enigma deserves investigation. But where does that leave James Douglas Morrison, the human being? In the independent documentary film Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age, the spotlight is turned on the flesh-and-blood man behind the myth, as well as the boy who begat the man.
Jim Morrison is one of the twentieth century's most mysterious and misunderstood figures. Morrison tore the seal off of reality and functioned as a blind taste tester for a counterculture that, through experimental daring and the questioning of authority, contributed immensely to societal evolution. But that was just one facet of his fascinating life. Following his reported death of July 3, 1971, his brief chameleonic existence of 27 years left his legacy open to vast misinterpretation, a practice that continues to this day.
For almost a half-century, a mountain of media has accumulated in Morrison's name. He is an enduring figurehead who was forged during the incendiary 1960's and is best known as the primal and profound singer-songwriter of The Doors. Foreshadowing the punk movement, Morrison screamed, incited riots, ingested hallucinogens, and drunkenly spat at his followers. He also crooned, gave erudite interviews, studied theatre and film, and strove to be acknowledged for his poetry. Endemic to controversy, with each passing year his notoriety only grows. So where does truth end and lore begin? Who was Jim Morrison, really? When did he choose to embrace such contradictory extremes? What set him on his mercurial personal journey? Why is he continually portrayed as a one-dimensional sex-drugs-and-rock & roll cliché? And is there actual proof of his death in Paris? With Morrison not present to defend himself, his methodology has been appropriated by the speculative powers-that-be.
The story of The Doors has been told numerous times. Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age documents Jim Morrison, with particular study given to his formative years, childhood through college, via the family and friends who experienced him as a person, as opposed to a persona.