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USA: Cowboy Booking International
Cast: Robert Dickerson, Patti Smith, Tim Campion, Brian Halloran, Coleman Lewis
Directors: Jem Cohen, Peter Sillen
USA: 72 mins
UK: 76 mins
UK Certificate: N/C
USA Release Date: 21 July 2000 (Limited Release - New York)
UK Release Date: 9 February 2001
BENJAMIN SMOKE is the portrait of Benjamin (born Robert Dickerson), a hard-living gay singer from Atlanta's 1970s punk scene. In this documentary he recounts his raucous life and introduces his new musical creations.
He was the lead singer, aka "Miss Opal Foxx", of an underground Atlanta, Georgia group called the Opal Foxx Quartet. When he was working for a period in New York in the 1970s, he briefly met Patti Smith and she was probably his greatest influence. After some of the musicians of Opal Foxx died tragically, the band called Smoke was formed. The film also chronicles his declining health from the effects of addiction and AIDS. Benjamin died at the age of 39 on 29 January 1999.