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Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché

Poly Styrene was the first woman of colour in the UK to front a successful rock band. She  introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about  identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s  Britain, with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk  musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements.

But the late punk maverick didn’t just leave behind an immense cultural footprint. She was  survived by a daughter, Celeste Bell, who became the unwitting guardian of her mother’s  legacy and her mother’s demons. Misogyny, racism, and mental illness plagued Poly’s life,  while their lasting trauma scarred Celeste’s childhood and the pair’s relationship.

Featuring unseen archive material and rare diary entries narrated by Oscar-nominee Ruth  Negga, this documentary follows Celeste as she examines her mother's unopened artistic  archive and traverses three continents to better understand Poly the icon and Poly the mother.

Country, Year United Kingdom, 2021
DirectorCeleste Bell, Paul Sng
WriterCeleste Bell, Zoe Howe, Paul Sng
CastPoly Styrene, Ruth Negga, Jonathan Ross, Kathleen Hanna, Don Letts, VIvienne Westwood
ProducerRebecca Mark-Lawson, Matthew Silverman
Runtime96 MINS, SECS