Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Noted documentary filmmaker Jem Cohen (along with Peter Sillen) directs this look at Benjamin, a Southern, gay, HIV positive, drug-addicted drag queen who led the blues-punk band "Smoke." Born Robert Dickerson in 1960, Benjamin played punk in Atlanta's grungy Cabbagetown section before fronting the queer-core band Opal Foxx Quartet. Thereafter, he began experimenting with such decidedly unpunk instruments as banjos and cellos and formed Smoke. As Cabbagetown lost its edgy spirit during the 1990s -- thanks to the yuppie-friendly condo boom -- so did Benjamin lose his fight against AIDS. He died of the disease early in 1999. This film was screened at the 2000 Berlin Film Festival.
band [music group], drag-queen, drug-addiction, HIV, legend [famous person], life-story, maverick, music, retrospective, tribute, underground [counterculture]