Even among musicians, Paul H.R. Hudson is certainly interesting guy. As leader of the seminal D.C. punk band Bad Brains, his primitive vocal style has influenced hundreds and just as it seemed the band was finally taking off, he left the group. He flirted with religion and switched his focus to Reggae when the world was finally coming around to his take on hardcore.
Finding Joseph I takes on the seemingly impossible task of attempting to profile H.R. through a series of interviews with bandmates, his family, fellow musicians, his wife/caretaker and H.R. himself. Though drugs are one of the theories behind his erratic behavior over the years, the more likely answer comes from his wife who thinks it’s due to schizophrenia. The documentary does a stellar job of exploring his influence, and based on the musicians interviewed throughout the film, including members of the Cro-Mags, Fishbone, Living Colour, Deftones and Guns N Roses among many others, that influences crosses several generations and genres.
At times a little difficult to watch, especially listening to Hudson’s self-recorded ramblings and obvious mental illness, Finding Joseph I still manages to pay homage to the legendary singer and all he has accomplished.
Finding Joseph I/91 min./MVD Visual/2017 / http://mvdvisual.com/