Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché
The ShowRoom Cinema
707 Cookman Avenue
Asbury Park 07712
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.
This is a nationwide, one night only screening in advance of the film's release on VOD.