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Spotlight Features
Finding Joseph I: The HR From Bad Brains Documentary
USA, 92 min., Color
As the Washington-based, all-black band Bad Brains exploded on the punk-rock map with legendary live shows boasting rhythms, tempos, and energy levels that can only be described as next level, they played a pivotal role in both forming the D.C. punk scene and creating the hardcore genre. Yet, they never quite made it. Somehow, lead singer HR’s strange behavior dispelled each opportunity that came their way. Was HR’s mystical personal genuine, a piece of performance art, a fuck you, or an affliction? Drawing on a wealth of archival materials and new interviews with HR, his bandmates, and musicians he’s inspired like Ian MacKaye, this is a complex portrait with real answers.
James Lathos