It’s been 37 years since Smokin’ Jo Frazier first put the hurt on Muhammad Ali in the first of three such fights that captivated millions around the world. But what does anyone know of Frazier, beyond the myth that has grown around him? As the filmmakers observe: ‘Joe Frazier is lost in someone else’s legend. His life inside the boxing ring has haunted his life outside. But Joe Frazier is still a fighter. And although the sport that has dominated his life has caused him deep hurt, he still believes it has the power to transform people’s lives and offer hope to those with little else to hope for.’
When the Smoke Clears intends to show the real Frazier, past and present. It’s the story of a fighting celebrity grown thoughtful in his later years – reflecting on his career, his roots (he still operates a gym in the community in which he grew up) and the things done to him, good and bad. It’s also the story of a son who has grown up in a legend, trying to preserve his father’s legacy.
Smoke was selected for the 2007 Discovery Campus Masterschool, an EU MEDIA-supported initiative that develops international coproductions, and is a must-see observational doc even for those without an interest in the sport. Partners: Riverhorse Productions (Manchester) in coproduction with ZDF/ARTE, with representation by Louise Rosen Ltd. (Brunswick)
Length: 60/90-minute feature
Rights available: All worldwide, excluding France and Germany