Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché

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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.

Genre: Documentary

Production Details

Director/Writer: Paul Sng, Celeste Bell
Producer: Rebecca Mark-Lawson, Matthew Silverman, Daria Nitsche
Executive Producer: Nikki Parrott, Natasha Dack Ojumu
Writer: Zoe Howe
Cinematographer: Nick Ward
Music: Marina Elderton
Cast:  Kathleen Hanna, Poly Styrene, Neneh Cherry

Technical Details

Length: 89 mins
Format: VOD (Virtual Cinema offer)
Language: English
Certificate: 12A


Date: 5 March 2021


Distributor: Modern Films
Contact: anna@modernfilms.com